Daily Prelims Notes 10 July 2021
- July 10, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
10 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- Kappa variant of Covid-19
- Himalayan Yaks to be insured
- Maharashtra resumes immunisation against filariasis
- Ending the shift the between Jammu & Kashmir
- Undead Section : Section 66A of IT Act
- Historic heatwave in Canada
- Deoxy-D-Glucose an adjuvant therapy
- Jal Jeevan Mission and Japanese Encephalitis
- Monsoon Breaks
- Global pulses trade to slow as India may boost production by 2030: OECD-FAO
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Recently, two cases of Kappa variant of Covid-19 have been recorded in Uttar Pradesh.
Kappa variant of Covid-19
- According to World Health Organization (WHO), Kappa is one of the two Covid-19 variants (the other being Delta) first identified in India.
- The Delta and Kappa variants are siblings i.e. the direct descendants of a variant that earlier used to be referred to as the double mutant, or B.1.617.
- The WHO had named this variant ‘Kappa’ and B.1.617.2 ‘Delta’ just as it named various variants of the coronavirus using Greek alphabets.
- According to the WHO, this variant was first identified in India in October 2020.
Degree of severity of Kappa variant of Covid-19
- Kappa variant is still listed among ‘variants of interest’ and not ‘variants of concern’ by the WHO.
- The variants of interests are “a SARS-CoV-2 variant with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape.
Context: Recently, the National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY) at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh has tied up with the National Insurance Company Ltd. for insuring Himalayan Yak.
- The high altitude yak, feeling the climate change heat across the Himalayan belt, will now be insured.
- The countrywide population trend shows that yak population has been decreasing at an alarming rate.
- The climate change and inexplicable changes in the weather pattern have been reported from the yak rearing areas throughout the country.
- The insurance policy would shield the yak owners against the risks posed by weather calamities, diseases, in-transit mishaps, surgical operations and strikes or riots.
- Under the insurance policy, the owners would have to get their yaks ear-tagged and provide a proper description in order to get their animals insured.
About Himalayan Yak
- It is a high-altitude bovine cousin of the cow grazes across the grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau.
- It is a long-haired bovine found throughout the Himalayan region of India.
- It is found throughout the Himalayan region of the Indian subcontinent, the Tibetan Plateau, Northern Myanmar, Yunnan, Sichuan and as far north as Mongolia and Siberia.
- It is a “flagship species” and indicates the health of the ecosystem within which it lives.
- It is a high-altitude animal, usually found 2,000-5,000 metres above sea level.
- It is superbly adapted to the climate of the area in which it lives, which includes conditions of “cold winter, low oxygen content, high solar radiation, and cyclical nutrition with short growing seasons.
- It is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : The Maharashtra government has flagged off its mass drug administration drive for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis and become the first State in the country to resume giving rounds of the drug after the second wave of COVID-19.
- The drive will be conducted in six districts —Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Yavatmal and Nanded — till July 15. Maharashtra has 18 filariasis endemic districts. As of 2020-21, at least 31,258 lymphoedema and 11,929 hydrocele cases were reported from these districts.
- Mass drug administration is one of the two pillars of the National Programme for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis(2018), under which anti-filaria drugs are administered to the eligible population once a year.
- Another Pillar is providing Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP) services to those affected by the disease.
- A combination of two drugs, diethylcarbamazine (DEC) and albendazole, or three — Ivermectin, DEC, and Albendazole — will be administered during the drive.
- Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis and is considered as a neglected tropical disease.
- It impairs the lymphatic system and can lead to the abnormal enlargement of body parts, causing pain, severe disability and social stigma.
- Lymphatic filariasis is a vector-borne disease, caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea.
There are 3 types of thread-like filarial worms which causes lymphatic filariasis:
- WuchereriaBancrofti is responsible for 90% of the cases.
- BrugiaMalayi causes most of the remainder of the cases.
- BrugiaTimori also causes the disease.
Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF)
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched its Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) in 2000.
- In 2012, the WHO neglected tropical diseases roadmap reconfirmed the target date for achieving elimination by 2020.
- The GPELF aims to provide access to a minimum package of care for every person with associated chronic manifestations of lymphatic filariasis in all areas where the disease is present, thus alleviating suffering and promoting improvement in their quality of life.
Subject : Governance / History
Context :The 149-year-old bi-annual tradition of shifting the capital of Jammu and Kashmir to Jammu during winters and Srinagar during summers is coming to an end.
- Darbar Move is a century-old practice in which the government functions for six months each in the two capitals of the State, Srinagar and Jammu.
- The practice was reportedly started in the late 19th century by Ranbir Singh, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, who used to shift his capital between Srinagar in the summer and Jammu in the winter to escape extreme weather conditions in these places.
- The government will function in Srinagar, the summer capital of the State, till late October and then move to Jammu, the winter capital, in the first week of November.
- Hundreds of trucks are usually plied to carry furniture, office files, computers, and other records to the capital.
- Regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir advocated the continuation of the practice “to help in the emotional integration between two diverse linguistic and cultural regions of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Subject : Legislations
Context : It is quite disconcerting that the Supreme Court has been informed for the second time in two years that Section 66A of the IT Act, which was struck down as unconstitutional six years ago, is still being invoked by the police and in some trial courts
Section 66A of Information Technology Act
- Section 66A dealt with information related crimes in which sending information, by means of a computer resource or a communication device, which is inter alia offensive, derogatory and menacing is made a punishable offence.
- In Shreya Singhal v. Union of India judgement, Justices Rohinton F. Nariman and J. Chelameswar had observed that the weakness of Section 66A lay in the fact that it had created an offence on the basis of undefined actions: such as causing “inconvenience, danger, obstruction and insult”, which do not fall among the exceptions granted under Article 19 of the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of speech.
- The court also observed that the challenge was to identify where to draw the line. Traditionally, it has been drawn at incitement while terms like obstruction and insult remain subjective.
- In addition, the court had noted that Section 66A did not have procedural safeguards like other sections of the law with similar aims, such as :
- The need to obtain the concurrence of the Centre before action can be taken.
- Local authorities could proceed autonomously, literally on the whim of their political masters.
- The judgment had found that Section 66A was contrary to both Articles 19 (free speech) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution. The entire provision was struck down by the court.
- After that government had appointed an expert committee (T.K. Viswanathan committee) which proposed a legislation to meet the challenge of hate speech online.
A team of climate researchers from the World Weather Attribution said this week that the was witnessed in western Canada and the US in the last days of June was impossible without human-caused climate change.
Multiple cities in the US and Canada experienced a heatwave with temperature records, in the village of Lytton in Canada’s British Columbia, temperatures reached a high of 49.6ºC.
- Sale of air conditioners and coolers
- Led to a rise in sudden deaths
- Sharp increase in hospital visits due to heat-related illnesses and other such emergencies.
Such an event is estimated to be about a “1 in 1000 year event” in today’s climate.
The possible reasons are
- The historic heatwave is itself simply a very low probability event, it is an extremely rare event but was aggravated because of climate change.
- The probability of such kinds of heatwaves has increased.
- The researchers are saying that in the absence of human-induced climate change, the heatwave such as seen recently in the Pacific Northwest would have been 150 times rarer.
- They also note that this heatwave was 2°C hotter than it would have been if it had occurred at the beginning of the industrial revolution (around late 1700s) when the global average temperatures were 1.2°C cooler than what they are today.
- The current rates of emissions, when the world is warmer by 2°C (0.8°C more than what it is today) around the 2040s, a typical heatwave type of event could be at least another degree hotter. If emission levels continue to rise, which in turn would increase average global temperatures, extreme heat waves will become less rare than they are today.
Steps to be taken
- Heat action plans can be organised as early warning systems to help people deal with such events.
- There need to be some long-term plans such as cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and also adapt to the hotter climate by modifying the built environments.
- They claimed that buildings coated with this paint may be able to cool them off enough to reduce the need for air conditioning (because the colour white absorbs the least heat out of all the colours on the VIBGYOR spectrum. Black absorbs the most). Because the paint is so white, the researchers demonstrated outdoors that the paint can keep surfaces 19 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than their ambient surroundings at night.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: UR BUREAU Hyderabad, MSN Laboratories has entered into a license agreement with Defence Research & Development Establishment (DRDE) and Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) establishments of the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) for the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of 2- Deoxy-D-Glucose (2-DG) in India.
The 2-DG as a twice-a-day product in sachet form under the brand name MSN 2D, in strength of 2.34g.
- It was developed by DRDO, has been granted permission by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use as adjunct therapy in moderate to severe Covid-19 patients.
- Adjuvant therapy, also known as adjunct therapy, and adjuvant care, is therapy that is given in addition to the primary or initial therapy to maximize its effectiveness
- The surgeries and complex treatment regimens used in cancer therapy have led the term to be used mainly to describe adjuvant cancer treatments.
- The additional treatment usually given after surgery where all detectable disease has been removed, but where there remains a statistical risk of relapse due to the presence of undetected disease. If known disease is left behind following surgery, then further treatment is not technically adjuvant.
- An adjuvant used on its own specifically refers to an agent that improves the effect of a vaccine. Medications used to help primary medications are known as add-ons.
- For example, radiotherapy or systemic therapy is commonly given as adjuvant treatment after surgery for breast cancer. Systemic therapy consists of chemotherapy, immunotherapy or biological response modifiers or hormone therapy.
- The aim of adjuvant treatment is to improve disease-specific symptoms and overall survival. Because the treatment is essentially for a risk, rather than for provable disease, it is accepted that a proportion of patients who receive adjuvant therapy will already have been cured by their primary surgery
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: Translating the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s emphasis on providing clean tap water on priority to every household in Japanese Encephalitis
- Jal Jeevan Mission is under implementation in partnership with States/ UTs to provide tap water connection to every rural household of the country by 2024.
- Total budget for Jal Jeevan Mission in 2021-22 is Rs 50,011 Crore. With State’s own resources and Rs 26,940 Crore as 15thFinance Commission tied grant for water and sanitation to RLBs/ PRIs,
- Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) envisages supply of 55 litres of water per person per day to every rural household. It comes under Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- JJM focuses on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level.
- Creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse, would be undertaken in convergence with other government programmes/schemes.
- The Mission is based on a community approach to water and includes extensive Information, Education and Communication as a key component of the mission.
- JJM looks to create a janandolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.
- Funding Pattern: The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and states is 90:10 for Himalayan and North-Eastern States, 50:50 for other states,and 100% for Union Territories.
- For the implementation of JJM, following institutional arrangement has been proposed:
- National Jal Jeevan Mission (NJJM) at the Central level
- State Water and Sanitation Mission (SWSM) at the State level
- District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) at the District level
- Village Water Sanitation Committee (VWSC) at Village level
Jal Jeevan Mission and Japanese Encephalitis
- Jal Jeevan Mission has provided tap water supply to more than 97 lakh households in 61 JE-AES affected priority districts.
- 05 Crore (35%) household have assured tap water supply in JE-AES affected districts.
- Jal Jeevan Mission is a key programme in reducing the burden of disease in these districts.
- Jal Jeevan Mission has significantly strengthened the preventive measures to reduce spread of JE-AES by providing clean tap water supply to economically poor households in the affected districts of Assam, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
- Among these five States, Bihar has performed well in providing tap water supply to rural households in its 15 JE-AES affected priority districts
- Japanese Encephalitis – Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (JE-AES) is a serious health hazard. The disease mostly affects children and young adults which can lead to morbidity and mortality.
- These infections particularly affect malnourished children of poor economic backgrounds.
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is the nodal ministry.
- The history of AES in India has paralleled with that of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) since the first report in 1955 from Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
- The first outbreak of JEV was reported in Bankura district, West Bengal in 1973.
- Thereafter, sporadic cases of AES and outbreaks have been the leading cause of premature deaths due to the disease in India
- Viruses are the main causative agents in AES cases, although other sources such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, spirochetes, chemicals, toxins, and noninfectious agents have also been reported over the past few decades. It is not vaccine-preventable.
- Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the major cause of AES in India (ranging from 5%-35%).
- Herpes simplex virus, Nipah virus, Zika virus, Influenza A virus, West Nile virus, Chandipura virus, mumps, measles, dengue, scrub typhus, S.pneumoniae are also found as causative agents for AES.
- Vaccination: As per Govt. of India guidelines, 2 doses of JE vaccine have been approved to be included in UIP
Context: ‘break’ in the South-West monsoon early in June has affected Kharif sowing in many parts of the country, with the overall coverage falling 10 per cent until July 8compared with the same period a year ago.
Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare showed that about acreage has reduced with various Kharif crops compared with last year.
- The monsoon has tendency to have ‘breaks’ in rainfall, during which very less or no rainfall occurs. The monsoon rains take place only for a few days at a time.
- They are interspersed with rainless intervals. These breaks in monsoon are related to the movement of the monsoon trough.
- This happens when the Monsoon trough shifts to the foothills of Himalayas, which leads to sharp decrease in rainfall over most parts of the country but increase along the Himalayas and parts of Northeast India and Southern Peninsula.
Break in Monsoon:
- During July and August, there are certain periods when the monsoons become weak. Breaks are likely to occur during the second week of August and last for a week.
- The breaks are believed to be brought about by the northward shifting of the monsoon trough (minimum low pressure cell in ITCZ).The axis of the trough lies at the foothills of the Himalayas during the break period.
- During the break period, heavy rainfall occurs over the sub-Himalayan regions and the southern slopes of the Himalayas.
- One or two breaks do occur during the rainy season.
According to says OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030 released earlier this week, the global pulse market that reached a volume of 92 million tonnes (mt) in 2020 – following an annual growth of 3 per cent during the previous decade – is expected to increase by 22 mt by 2030.
- Almost half of the projected increase is expected to come from Asia, especially India, the world’s largest producer, processor, importer and consumer of pulses. India’s production which is currently in the 23-25 mt range is expected to expand by a further 6.6 mt by the end of this decade, the report has projected.
- The report observes that world pulses trade grew from 13 mt to 17 mt over the past decade and is projected to reach 19 mt by 2030. India’s recent efforts to become self-sufficient in pulses are cited as a major factor driving the anticipated slowdown in global pulses trade. Interestingly, the report forecast that imports by India are expected to level-off by 2030 at 5 mt.
Challenges for exporters:
- Canada and Australia will continue to remain two of the world’s largest exporters reaching volumes of 8 mt and 2.4 mt respectively by 2030. This means major origins will now have to start scouting for new markets in order to diversify the
- Pulses are expected to regain importance in the diets in many regions of the world. Global average annual per capita food use will increase by nine kg by 2030
- By far the largest producer, India accounted for 24 per cent of global production in the past decade, followed by Canada (8 per cent) and the European Union (5 per cent). As the Asian market accounts for more than half of all consumption but only about 45 per cent of production, it becomes the most significant import destination.