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Dynamics of Second Wave of COVID-19

Dynamics of Second Wave of COVID-19 The coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) is now a global concern because of its higher transmission capacity and associated adverse consequences including death. Number of Cases In 1st wave (March, 2020), cases were less than 5,000. Only in September it peaked to around one lakh. But in 2nd wave, by April only, there are close to 2 lakh cases a day and the current doubling time is 10 days. Therefore, India will reach ~3.1 million detected cases, spelling the

16 April, 2021 GS-III S&T

What does Community transmission (CT) mean?

What does Community transmission (CT) mean? CT happens when new cases in the last 14 days cannot be traced to those who have an international travel history, when cases cannot be linked to a specific cluster. The WHO guidelines further suggest four subcategories within the broader definition of CT. CT-1 implies “low incidence of locally acquired, widely dispersed cases... and low risk of infection for the general population” with the highest, a CT-4 suggesting “very

14 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

Sputnik V Covid vaccine to cost ?995

Sputnik V Covid vaccine to cost ?995 Introduction The country is looking to produce 15.6 crore doses of the Russian Covid vaccine The imported doses of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine will cost ?995.40 per shot, said the company’s partner in India Dr Reddy's Laboratories Made in India However, the doses of the vaccine that will be made in India are expected to be cheaper. The company said it is working closely with its six manufacturing partners

14 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

What is medical oxygen?

What is medical oxygen? The air we breathe is a mix of several gases, such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The term ‘medical oxygen’ means high-purity oxygen, which is used for medical treatments and developed for use in the human body. The medical oxygen cylinders actually contain highly pure oxygen gas. To get medical oxygen, a person requires a prescription. To prevent contamination, no other types of gases are allowed in the cylinder. How d

13 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

PM CARES fund to buy 1.5 lacs Oxycare system of DRDO

PM CARES fund to buy 1.5 lacs Oxycare system of DRDO Oxycare system The PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund has sanctioned the procurement of 1.5 lakh units of the Oxycare system, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), at a cost of ?322.5 crore. Separately, a four lakh litre capacity oxygen production plant supplied by Germany started functioning at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel COVID Hospital set

13 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

International Labour Day and Labour Reforms

International Labour Day and Labour Reforms Context: Labour is an important topic of UPSC GS Paper II and Paper III in Mains Examination. Recent Labour Codes are highly important even for Essay. Labour is in the Concurrent List in Schedule 7 of the Constitution. Hence, both the Parliament and the state legislatures can enact laws on it. International Labour Day Every year 1st May is observed as May Day and is also known as International Labour Day wo

01 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Positron and Antimatter

Positron and Antimatter What is Matter? Matter is made up of atoms, which are the basic units of chemical elements such as hydrogen, helium or oxygen. Atoms are the basic units of matter and the defining structure of elements. atoms are made up of three particles: Protons, Neutrons and Electrons. What is Antimatter? Antimatter is the opposite of normal matter. More specifically, the sub-atomic particles of antimatter have properties opposite those of normal matter. So

02 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

Air Pollution in Delhi

Air Pollution and AQI Context: UPSC GS Paper III – Air Pollution (Prelims – Mains – Interview) What is the National Air Quality Index? Launched in 2014 with outline ‘One Number – One Color -One Description’ for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity. The measurement of air quality is based on eight pollutants, namely: Particulate Matter (PM10), Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Car

01 May, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Vande Bharat Mission (VBM)

Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) It is the biggest civilian evacuation exercise to bring back Indian citizens stranded abroad amidst the coronavirus-induced travel restrictions. It has surpassed the large-scale airlift of 1,77,000 people in 1990 at the onset of the Gulf War. The mission is undergoing its 10th phase and has carried 32 lakh passengers approximately both inbound and outbound. National carrier Air India, alongwith its budget carrier Air India Express (AIE) carried out the

01 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

Great Nicobar development plan and its environmental concerns- NITI Aayog

Great Nicobar development plan and its environmental concerns- NITI Aayog Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC) on the plan The Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC) - of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has flagged serious concerns about NITI Aayog’s ambitious project for Great Nicobar Island The committee has, however, removed the first hurdle faced by the project. The EAC was responding to the 126 page ‘pre-feasibility’ report, &

10 May, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Methane Emissions- Global Methane Assessment & Climate Change

Methane Emissions- Global Methane Assessment & Climate Change GS-Paper-3: Environment and climate change – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application “Human-caused methane emissions must be cut by 45 per cent to avoid the worst effects of climate change, a new United Nations report has said” Such a cut would prevent a rise in global warming by up to 0.3 degrees Celsius by 2045, the report added. It would also prevent 260,000 premature deaths, 775,000 asthma-related hos

09 May, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

State Disaster Response Fund

State Disaster Response Fund The Centre has released the first instalment of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for 2021-22 to all the States, in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19. Normally, the annual exercise of the release of the first instalment is usually done in June, as per the recommendations of the Finance Commission. As a special dispensation, the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, at the recommendation of the Home Ministry, has released in advance the

09 May, 2021 GS-III Disaster and Disaster management

National Programme for Organic Production-Organic agriculture

National Programme for Organic Production-Organic agriculture GS-Paper-3: Economic - Agriculture – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has sourced finger millet and barnyard millet from farmers in Himalayas (Uttarakhand) for exports to Denmark. These millets were exported to Denmark after meeting the organic certification standards of the European Union (EU). Organic Food Organi

09 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Model Insurance Villages

Model Insurance Villages The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has come out with the concept of Model Insurance Villages (MIV). The idea behind the MIV concept is to offer comprehensive insurance protection to all the major insurable risks that villagers are exposed to and make available covers at affordable or subsidised cost. Such MIVs are expected to tackle losses due to natural calamities like floods and earthquakes. There’s no catastrophe insuran

09 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

National Electricity Policy-Revision

National Electricity Policy-Revision GS-Paper-3: Economic reform – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application The government has decided to revise the National Electricity Policy-NEP by invoking Section 3 of the Electricity Act, 2003. The 2003 Act mandates that the central government shall prepare the NEP in consultation with the state governments and the Central Electricity Authority. The government has constituted a committee now. It would finalise the draft NEP which has been circu

09 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

PRAYAAS Scheme

PRAYAAS Scheme The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) sent the pension payment orders to the retiring employees under the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 through the “PRAYAAS” initiative. PRAYAAS is initiative of the EPFO to disburse pension payment order on the very day of retirement/ superannuation.

09 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

DCGI approves anti-COVID drug- BY DRDO & Clinical Trials

DCGI approves anti-COVID drug- BY DRDO & Clinical Trials GS-Paper-3: S&T - Innovation – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application Context: An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has been developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), Hyderabad. An anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the

09 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

PLI Scheme for the Food Processing Industry

PLI Scheme for the Food Processing Industry Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has launched an online portal for ‘Production Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry’ (PLISFPI). This Central Sector Scheme ‘PLISFPI’ will be implemented for the period from 2021-22 to 2026-27. It is a part of Prime Minister’s announcement of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Key Points It will support creation of global food ma

09 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Rare diseases and their occurrence in India

Rare diseases and their occurrence in India The common denominator of rare diseases is the infrequency of their occurrence in the human population. Often debilitating lifelong disease or disorder condition with a prevalence of 1 or less, per 1000 population is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a rare disease. As per an estimate, there are 7,000 known rare diseases with an estimated 300 million patients in the world; 70 million are in India. According to the O

07 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

National policy on Bio fuels

National policy on Bio fuels About Ethanol: About 5% of the ethanol produced in the world in 2003 was actually a petroleum product. It is made by the catalytic hydration of ethylene with sulfuric acid as the catalyst. It can also be obtained via ethylene or acetylene, from calcium carbide, coal, oil gas, and other sources. Bio-ethanol is usually obtained from the conversion of carbon-based feedstock. Agricultural feedstocks are considered renewable because they get energy from t

02 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

RBI measures against COVID-19

RBI measures against COVID-19 The RBI Governor Shri Shaktikanta Das today announced a series of measures to support the nation’s fight against the second wave of COVID-19 infections. 1. Term Liquidity Facility of ?50,000 crore to Ease Access to Emergency Health Services Term Liquidity Facility of Rs. 50,000 crore with tenure of up to 3 years, at repo rate, to ease access to emergency health services, for ramping up COVID-related health infrastructure & services. Ba

07 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

What is an Oxygen Concentrator?

What is an Oxygen Concentrator? How does a concentrator help? With the demand for medical oxygen continuing unabated and several States struggling to keep pace with demand, the oxygen concentrator has emerged as a sought-after device. Unlike medical oxygen sourced from industrial units, which are supplied via cylinders, concentrators are devices that can be operated at home. When is an oxygen concentrator needed? The device can aid those whose oxygen saturation levels are

05 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

Mobile Phone Technologies

Mobile Phone Technologies 1G Technology The development of 1G mobile phones took place in late 1970s. The 1G mobile devices sent only the “analogue voice information” via amplitude modulation (AM), which varies the amplitude of the carrier signal, and frequency modulation (FM), which changes the Frequency of the career signal. In electronics, the analog signal devices were followed by Analog to Digital convertors. The most important 1G system were Advanced Mo

05 May, 2021 GS-III S&T

RBI announced measures to protect Small businesses, MSMEs to get relief

RBI announced measures to protect Small businesses, MSMEs to get relief RBI announced measures to protect small and medium businesses and individual borrowers from the adverse impact of the intense second wave of COVID-19 buffeting the country. In an unscheduled address, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das unveiled a Resolution Framework 2.0 for COVID-related stressed assets of individuals, small businesses and MSMEs and also expressed the central bank’s resolve to do everything at its co

06 May, 2021 GS-III Economic Issues

Shift in Earth’s Axis-Climate Change

Shift in Earth’s Axis-Climate Change GS-Paper-3: Environment – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application A new study has added shifting of Earth’s axis to the list of consequences of climate change, which already includes rising sea levels, heat waves, melting glaciers and storms. While this change is not expected to affect daily life, it can change the length of the day by a few milliseconds. Earth’s Axis The Earth’s axis of rota

05 May, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Global Climate Risk Index 2021

Global Climate Risk Index 2021 GS-Paper-3: Environment – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application The Global Climate Risk Index analyses to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.). The report is annually released by Germanwatch, an environmental think tank and sustainable development lobbyist. The 16th edition of the Global Climate Risk Index was released on January 25, 2021. The Global CRI 2

28 April, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

The Global Climate 2020

The Global Climate 2020 GS-Paper-3: Environment – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its annual State of the Global Climate for 2020 on April 20, 2021. Irrespective of the widespread surmise that lockdowns and shutdowns to curb the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic would lower emissions and reduce the impact on climate, the report has scary findings. According to the report: Extreme weather combined with

29 April, 2021 GS-III Biodiversity & Environment

Zhurong – Mars rover

Zhurong – Mars rover GS-Paper-3: S&T-Space – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application Chinese government announced that its first Mars rover will be named Zhurong after a traditional fire god. This name fits with the Chinese name for Mars - “Huo Xing” or fire star. The rover is aboard the Tianwen-1 probe that arrived in Mars orbit in February, 2021 and is due to land in May to look for evidence of life. The top candidate for the landing site on Ma

29 April, 2021 GS-III S&T

Odisha’s first case of harlequin ichthyosis

Odisha’s first case of harlequin ichthyosis WHY? Mutations in the ABCA 12 gene are stated to cause harlequin ichthyosis. The ABCA12 protein plays a major role in transporting fats in cells which make up the outermost layer of skin. Severe mutations in the gene lead to the absence or partial production of the ABCA12 protein. This results in lack of lipid transport and as a result, the skin development is affected by varying degrees according to the severity of the mutation, a doc

29 April, 2021 GS-III S&T

Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System developed by DRDO

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched the SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System which will be useful for soldiers in extreme high-altitude areas. About DRDO’s Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System: The system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) levels. Thus, it prevents the person from going into a state of Hypoxia. Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissu

22 April, 2021 GS-III S&T

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