Daily Prelims Notes 1 October 2023
- October 1, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
1 October 2023
Table Of Contents
- Fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management
- Why BSL3 lab for Nipah confirmation is unnecessary
- Aditya L1 escape earth influence
- Genes fuel antibiotic resistance in Yemen cholera epidemic
- Granules India gets USFDA’s nod for hypertension generic
- How Important is the first asteroid sample
- Kazan Meet
- Need for creation of Global dispute settlement
- Effect of Invasive plants
- News-Jewar Airport, Noida get DXN code
Section: International Conventions
Context: Delegates at a United Nations (UN) Conference in the German city of Bonn adopted a new global framework to reduce environmental risks from chemicals and waste on September 30, 2023.
- Countries also committed to phase out the most harmful chemicals at the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management or ICCM5.
- The aim of the framework is to phase out lethal agricultural pesticides by 2035.
- The Bonn Declaration was also adopted at the summit.
- The Declaration aims to “prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, and phase out the most harmful ones, where appropriate, and enhance the safe management of such chemicals where they are needed.”
- It also encourages countries to support the transition to circular economies and to develop substitutes for chemicals.
What does the roadmap envisage?
- The plan sets out 28 concrete targets and guidelines for key sectors from production to waste. These include preventing illegal trafficking of chemicals and waste, introducing national laws and phasing out highly dangerous pesticides in agriculture by 2035.
- It also calls for a transition to more sustainable chemical alternatives, responsible use of chemicals in industry, agriculture and healthcare sectors, and better access to information about the risks associated with different chemicals.
- In addition, a system for classifying and labeling chemicals is to be introduced in more countries and a fund is to be created to promote the safe use of chemicals.
- Germany has pledged €20 million to implement the framework, which UNEP will manage.
Subject: Science and Tech
More about the news:
- Truenat test for Nipah virus faced delayed approval in Kerala.
- Despite an emergency use authorization (EUA) granted in 2021, permission was only granted after strong demands from Kerala.
- Truenat was developed for pandemic preparedness.
- The disagreement between ICMR and WHO guidelines regarding the need for BSL-3 facilities for virus confirmation led to delayed detection due to the insistence on BSL-3 facilities.
- Inactivated samples make BSL-3 facilities redundant, allowing BSL-2 labs to speed up testing.
- ICMR argues for BSL-3 for safety reasons, emphasizing containment protocols.
What is Biosafety Level:
- BSL is used to identify the protective measures needed in a laboratory setting to protect workers, the environment, and the public.
- Activities and projects conducted in biological laboratories are categorized by biosafety level.
- The four biosafety levels are BSL-1, BSL-2, BSL-3, and BSL-4, with BSL-4 being the highest level of containment.
What are different Biosafety Levels:
- Biosafety Level 1: It is applied to the laboratories where the work is carried out with very low-risk microbes that do not cause any infection in the adults. One such non-infectious strain is E.coli.
- Biosafety Level 2: It is applied to the laboratories where work is carried out with moderately pathogenic organisms. Agents worked in biosafety level 2 include HIV, encephalitis virus.
- Biosafety Level 3: The pathogens that can cause serious health hazards are worked under biosafety level 3.
- Biosafety Level 4: The biosafety level 4 laboratory works with the microbes Ebola and Marburg virus that are usually fatal and have no treatment or vaccines.
What are the common requirements in a BSL-3 laboratory:
- Proper personal protective equipment is mandatory, potentially including respirators.
- Workers typically need solid-front wraparound gowns, scrub suits, or coveralls.
- Microbial work must be conducted within a suitable Biological Safety Cabinet .
- Facilities should have hands-free sinks and eyewash stations near exits.
- The lab should maintain directional airflow, drawing air from clean to potentially contaminated areas.
- Entrance should be through self-closing locking doors separate from building corridors.
- Access to the BSL-3 laboratory is continuously restricted and monitored.
Subject: Science and Tech
Section: Space tech
More about the news:
- India’s Aditya-L1 spacecraft, designed for solar observation, has successfully moved beyond Earth’s influence, headed for the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 (L1), marking ISRO’s second mission outside Earth’s sphere after the Mars Orbiter Mission.
- The spacecraft’s journey began with a Trans-Lagrangian1 Insertion (TL1I)maneuver on September 19, and it will reach L1 in January 2024, aiming to study solar phenomena, space weather, and more during its five-year mission.
- Aditya-L1 carries seven payloads, including ISRO-developed instruments and academic institute collaborations.
What are Lagrangian points:
- These are specific locations in space where the gravitational forces of two large bodies, such as the Earth and the Moon or the Earth and the Sun, balance the centrifugal force experienced by a smaller object, such as a satellite.
- Lagrange points are named in honor of Italian-French mathematician Josephy-Louis Lagrange.
- There are five Lagrangian points, labelled L1 through L5, in the three-dimensional space surrounding two large bodies in orbit around each other.
- L1, L2, and L3 are located on a line that connects the two large bodies and are unstable equilibrium points, meaning an object placed there will not stay in that position without continuous propulsion.
- L4 and L5, on the other hand, are located at the third corners of a tetrahedron formed by the two large bodies and their barycenter, and are stable equilibrium points, meaning an object placed there will remain in that position without propulsion.
- The L1 point of the Earth-Sun system affords an uninterrupted view of the sun and is currently home to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO)
- The L2 point in the Earth-Sun system is a strategic location for spacecraft like WMAP, Planck, and the James Webb Space Telescope. It offers advantages for astronomy, as it allows for easy communication with Earth, provides uninterrupted solar power, and offers a clear view of deep space.
- The L1 and L2 points are unstable on a time scale of approximately 23 days, which requires satellites orbiting these positions to undergo regular course and attitude corrections.
- Stable orbits at L4 and L5 Lagrange points require a mass ratio greater than 24.96, seen in Earth-Sun and Earth-Moon systems, as well as elsewhere in the solar system.
- Objects found orbiting at the L4 and L5 points are often called Trojans after the three large asteroids Agamemnon, Achilles and Hector that orbit in the L4 and L5 points of the Jupiter-Sun system.
Subject: Science and Tech
More about the news:
- A study in Nature Microbiology reveals that antibiotic-resistant genes emerged in Vibrio cholerae strains during Yemen’s cholera epidemic in 2018.
- A new plasmid introduced multiple antibiotic resistance genes, including macrolides, widely spreading by 2019.
- Clinical macrolide use and genetic exchange likely contributed to multidrug resistance, highlighting the need for ongoing genomic surveillance in the Yemen cholera outbreak.
What is antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
- Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is an ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication previously used to treat them. It is also known as antibiotic resistance.
- The WHO defines antimicrobial resistance as a microorganism’s resistance to an antimicrobial drug that was once able to treat an infection by that microorganism.
- The resistance to antimicrobials is a natural biological phenomenon.
What are some global efforts against AMR:
- Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (GAP): Globally, countries committed to the framework set out in the Global Action Plan1 (GAP) 2015 on AMR during the 2015 World Health Assembly and committed to the development and implementation of multisectoral national action plans.
- Tripartite Joint Secretariat on Antimicrobial Resistance: Tripartite joint secretariat i.eFAO, OIE and WHO has been established and is hosted by WHO to drive multi-stakeholder engagement in AMR.
- Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on AMR: It was convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations after the UN High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance in 2016. The IACG brought together partners across the UN, international organizations and individuals with expertise across human, animal and plant health, as well as the food, animal feed, trade to formulate a plan for the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
- World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW): WAAW was previously called the World Antibiotic Awareness Week. From 2020, it will be called the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. It is a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance worldwide.
- Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS): WHO launched it in 2015 to continue filling knowledge gaps and to inform strategies at all levels. GLASS has been conceived to progressively incorporate data from surveillance of AMR in humans, surveillance of the use of antimicrobial medicines, AMR in the food chain and the environment.
- Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP): A joint initiative of WHO and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), GARDP encourages research and development through public-private partnerships. By 2025, the partnership aims to develop and deliver five new treatments that target drug-resistant bacteria identified by WHO as posing the greatest threat.
Subject: Science and Tech
More about the news:
- Granules India received USFDA approval for its new generic drug, equivalent to Losartan Potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets.
- It treats hypertension and stroke risk reduction, with an annual US market value of around $73 million.
- This marks Granules’ 60th ANDA approval, including 58 final and 2 tentative approvals from the USFDA.
What is Generic Drug:
- It is a medication that has exactly the same active ingredient as the brand-name drug and yields the same therapeutic effect.
- It is the same in dosing, safety, strength, quality, the way it works, the way it is taken, and the way it should be used.
- These similarities help to demonstrate bioequivalence, which means that a generic medicine works in the same way and provides the same clinical benefit as the brand-name medicine.
- They also have the same risks and benefits as their brand-name counterparts.
- Generic drugs do not need to contain the same inactive ingredients as the brand-name product.
- A generic drug can only be marketed after the brand name drug’s patent has expired.
- Generic drugs are usually much less expensive than brand-name drugs.
What is US FDA:
- The United States Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency of the Department of Health and Human Services.
- FDA is a government agency established in 1906 with the passage of the Federal Food and Drugs Act.
- The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs , vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices (ERED), cosmetics, animal foods & feeds and veterinary products.
- The FDA gives approval to regulated products before they can be sold in the U.S.
- FDA has the power to recall products on the market, if necessary, for safety and other reasons.
- The FDA is known for its work in regulating the development of new drugs. The FDA has developed rules regarding the clinical trials that must be done on all new medications. Pharmaceutical companies must test drugs through four phases of clinical trials before they can be marketed to individuals.
- The FDA approves products in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and its approval or rejection of a product can have a financial impact.
- The FDA is led by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commissioner reports to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
- The FDA has its headquarters in unincorporated White Oak, Maryland.
Subject: Science and Tech
Context: OSIRIS-REx brought the sample from asteroid Bennu.
More about the news:
- OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer
- OSIRIS-REx is a NASA asteroid-study and sample-return mission.
- The spacecraft arrived at the asteroid in December 2018 and orbited for two years, measuring the asteroid’s mass, density, albedo, surface composition and particle environment.
- The landing site on Bennu was named: Nightingale.
Some fact about asteroid Bennu:
- Bennu is a B-type Near-Earth Asteroid.
- B-type asteroids are a relatively uncommon type of carbonaceous asteroid.
- Because of its high carbon content, the asteroid reflects about four per cent of the light that hits it, which is very low whereas Earth reflects about 30 percent of the light.
- There is a slight possibility that Bennu might strike the Earth in the next century, between the years 2175 and 2199.
Why this sample is important;
- These samples carried by the OSIRIS-REx mission are important because asteroids such as Bennu can act as a “time capsule” for our solar system’s earliest history.
- The asteroid sample will help researchers learn about how our planet and solar system formed, as well as the origin of organics that may have led to life on Earth.
- Material has been collected and returned to Earth from comets, asteroids, the solar wind and the Moon.
- But samples returned directly from a source can answer many scientific questions that can’t be answered by remote observations, landers and rovers, or even meteorites fallen to Earth.
- Many details hidden within a rock can be lost during a meteorite’s atmospheric entry and impact but are preserved with a returned sample.
- Earlier samples returned from asteroids Itokawa and Ryugu had been analyzed, which were the targets of past missions of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
- The Hayabusa spacecraft collected evidence of space weathering on Itokawa, and Hayabusa2 found that Ryugu is made of carbon-rich rocks, known as carbonaceous chondrites, that closely trace the Sun’s composition. The Ryugu samples revealed that the few meteorites of the same classification that have fallen to Earth were chemically altered by the journey.
Some more facts:
- OSIRIS-REx was NASA’s third sample return from a deep-space robotic mission.
- The Genesis spacecraft dropped off bits of solar wind in 2004, but the samples were compromised when the parachute failed and the capsule slammed into the ground.
- The Stardust spacecraft successfully delivered comet dust in 2006.
- The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is already chasing the asteroid Apophis, and will reach it in 2029.
Section: Places in news
Context: Kazan meet makes no headway on equal rights in Afghanistan.
More about the news:
- India participated in the Moscow Format meeting on Afghanistan in the Russian city of Kazan, and was represented by the Ambassador to Russia, Pavan Kapoor, as the special envoy
- India expressed concern over the security situation due to increased terrorist activities, especially by ISIS.
- “Moscow Format” meeting included the Taliban’s Acting Foreign Minister as an invitee along with Special envoys from Pakistan, Russia, China, Iran, and Central Asian states with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Turkiye as guests.
- The meeting commended Afghanistan’s efforts against ISIS but called for action against all terrorist groups.
- The meeting appreciated reduced poppy cultivation but lamented the lack of an inclusive government.
- Iran proposed a regional contact group for Afghan-related matters.
What is Moscow Format:
- The Moscow format is one of the several dialogue platforms on Afghanistan which began before the Taliban takeover of Kabul.
- It was introduced in 2017 on the basis of the six-party mechanism for consultations among special representatives from Russia, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Iran and India.
- The key objective of the Moscow format of consultations is to facilitate the national reconciliation process in Afghanistan to establish peace.
Section: International Body
Context: Recently concluded G-20 declaration reiterated need to reform WTO to improve its functioning along with establishing fully functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024.
- WTO’s dispute settlement system, conceived as two-tier panel cum appellate body , has been dysfunctional since 2019, due to repeated blockage by US.
- Other area seeing formative stages of appellate process is ISDS (investor state dispute settlement),an ubiquitous component of BITs (bilateral investment treaties).
- ISDS today is principal means to settle international investment law disputes.
- Till 1 Jan 2023, 1257 ISDS cases have been initiated. India has a chequered history with ISDS- with 5 adverse awards: 4 in favour and several pending claims.
WTO dispute settlement
- WTO is an international body that also deals in Dispute Settlements.
- The member country will approach the WTO’s dispute settlement body when a country fails to comply with WTO rules.
- All the members are encouraged to settle the disputes through consultation or a panel if the consultation fails.
- The constituted panel will circulate the verdict of the dispute settlement amongst WTO members who can decide to reject the ruling.
- If the ruling is approved, the member country that violated the rules must change rules in line with the WTO Agreement.
- In the case of failure to do so, the complaining country and the violating country may determine a mutually-acceptable compensation, failing which, the complaining country may retaliate suitably.
WTO’s Appellate Body
- Appeals against the orders of DSB is taken to WTO Appellate Body.
- The Appellate Body, set up in 1995, is a standing committee of seven members that presides over appeals against judgments passed in trade-related disputes brought by WTO members.
- Countries involved in a dispute over measures purported to break a WTO agreement or obligation can approach the Appellate Body if they feel the report of the panel set up to examine the issue needs to be reviewed on points of law.
- However, existing evidence is not re-examined but legal interpretations are reviewed.
- The Appellate Body can uphold, modify, or reverse the legal findings of the panel that heard the dispute. Countries on either or both sides of the dispute can appeal.
- The Appellate Body has so far issued 152 reports. The reports, once adopted by the WTO’s dispute settlement body, are final and binding on the parties.
- It is a subsidiary body of the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) responsible for helping to facilitate international trade and investment.
- It is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.
- UNCITRAL carries out its work at annual sessions held alternately in New York City and Vienna, where it is headquartered.
- Established by the UNGA in 1966.
- The Tribunal constituted in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976 is seated at the Hague, Netherlands, and proceedings are administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
- Since its inception, India is only one of eight countries that has been a member of UNCITRAL.
- The UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (1997) (MLCBI) is designed to assist States in developing a modern, harmonized and fair insolvency framework to more effectively address instances of cross-border proceedings concerning debtors experiencing severe financial distress or insolvency.
- It provides legal framework to deal with cross-border insolvency issues while ensuring the least intrusion into the country’s domestic insolvency law.
Section: Species in news
Context – Some states banning and taking steps to control invasive plants
Gujarat banned Conocarpus plants
Significance/ Background- To increase forest cover in Gujarat, Conocarpus plants was used in recent years.
- Harm local flora and fauna-
- Cause diseases- cold, cough, asthma
- Roots go deep inside and damage telecommunication lines and freshwater system
- Unsuitable to plant eating animals
- Kills competition (against Gause rule)- eg- Delhi- Vilayatikikar taken over native trees like- acacia, kadamb etc
- Depletes water table
- Reduce fodder availability in forests for animas- chances of animals foraying into human settlements increases- man animal conflicts (WII study )
- Adverse impact on human health too
Other states taking similar steps-
- Telangana banned same plant.
Section: International Organisation
What is an IATA code?
- The need for unique identifiers for locations arose among pilots in the 1930s. While this started as a two-letter practice for airports, the restricted number of possible options soon resulted in a three-letter practice for identifying airports and other locations related to aviation connectivity in the world.
- Each airport is given 2 codes- one by ICAO , UN body and other by IATA (International air transport association ).
- Example- Indira Gandhi airport, Delhi- has DEL code by IATA, and its ICAO code is VIDP.
International Civil Aviation Organisation
- ICAO is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency, established in 1944, which laid the foundation for the standards and procedures for peaceful global air navigation.
- The Convention on International Civil Aviation was signed on 7th December 1944 in Chicago.
- It established the core principles permitting international transport by air, and also led to the creation of the ICAO.
- Its one of the objectives is to foster the planning and development of international air transport so as to ensure the safe and orderly growth of international civil aviation throughout the world.
- India is among its 193 members.
- It is headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 300 airlines or 83% of total air traffic.