Daily Prelims Notes 11 April 2021
- April 11, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
11 April 2021
Table Of Contents
- mRNA VACCINE
- REHAT MARYADA
- AIR BUBBLE PACT
- MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
- LITHIUM ION BATTERIES
- CHILIKA LAKE
- UMNGOT RIVER
- CSIR -NEERI
- INDUS & GANGES RIVER DOLPHIN
- CURIOSITY ROVER
- SECURITIES APELLATE TRIBUNAL
- PARIS CLIMATE DEAL
Subject: Science & tech
Context: France extends gap between mRNA vaccine shots to ramp-up rollout.
- In RNA vaccines, the messenger RNA from the pathogen is used.
- The mRNA means messenger RNA, which carries the genetic formula for the coding of a specific protein.
- The vaccine, when injected into a person for coding the spike protein, then even without the introduction of an attenuated (recognisable but not harmful) virus into the body, the body learns what the virus looks like and arms itself with the antibodies that are required to act against it.
- The messenger RNA gets translated into antigenic protein recognised by our immune cells and antibodies are produced.
- But mRNA is a highly unstable molecule making it difficult to handle.
- So the mRNA is encapsulated in a small ball of fat or lipid nanoparticle (LNP) which acts as a delivery vehicle that helps the mRNA cross the host cell membrane and once inside the mRNA is released.
- Forty-five subjects in between 18 to 55 years of age of both sexes will be enrolled and divided into three groups and each will receive an intramuscular injection on days 1 and 29.
Subject: International Relations
- The WMCC was established in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for management of India – China border areas, as well as to exchange views on strengthening communication and cooperation, including between the border security personnel of the two sides.
- It is headed by joint secretary-level officials from both sides. They are entrusted to help the special representative for boundary talks.
Context: SGPC demands action after Sikh youth says was asked to remove symbols of faith.
- The Sikh Rehat Maryada is a code of conduct and conventions for Sikhism, and its final version was approved by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar in 1945 after centuries of use before the British made committee.
- It is one of many Rehitnama (‘codes of conduct’) written for Sikhs.
- The Rehat Maryada was created to live practical and functional aspects of the operations of Sikh Gurdwaras, and religious practices to foster cohesion throughout the community.
Subject: Current Events
Context: India has finalised air bubble pact with Sri Lanka: Aviation Ministry
- Under the air bubble pact between the two countries, special international passenger flights can be operated into each other’s territories under restrictive conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- With this, India now has such pacts with 28 countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, the Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, the UAE, the U.K. and the USA.
Context: Egypt sentences Muslim Brotherhood leader to life in prison .Court finds Mahmoud Ezzat, acting supreme guide of the country’s oldest Islamist organisation, guilty of ‘terror’ acts.
- Muslim Brotherhood is a religiopolitical organization founded in 1928 at Ismailia, Egypt, by Hassan al-Banna.
- Islamist in orientation, it advocated a return to the Quran and the Hadith as guidelines for a healthy modern Islamic society.
- The Brotherhood spread rapidly throughout Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and North Africa.
- Although figures of Brotherhood membership are variable, it is estimated that at its height in the late 1940s it may have had some 500,000 members.
- His ideas led inspired a large number of Islamist political movements and parties alongwith powerful missionary and charitable initiatives all over the world.
- Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Morocco, Turkey and Tunisia are among the countries that have large parties that trace their origins to the Brotherhood.
- Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood has been designated as an Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) by the US. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the fugitive leader of al-Qaeda, is a former member of the Egyptian Brotherhood.
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood:
- There is a broad consensus among historians that the Egyptian Brotherhood, as an organisation at least, has not undertaken violent action since 1960s, when it formally announced they were only “preachers”.
- In Egypt, the Brotherhood has been in Parliament since in the 1980s, and one of its leaders, Mohamed Morsi, became President in 2012, who was ousted the following year.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Researchers from IIT Guwahati have developed a technique to improve the performance of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which power most of the portable devices used today.
- The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded to Stanley Whittingham, John Goodenough and Akira Yoshino for work that led to the development of lithium-ion batteries.
- These batteries are used in most mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops and power banks, among other devices.
- Today, most Electrical Vehicles (EV) use Li-ion batteries as well, but are slowly reaching their theoretical limits of being able to provide roughly up to 300-watt hour per kilogram of energy.
- These batteries can also be used to store solar and wind power, which means that with their widespread use it may even be possible to live in a fuel free society.
- Some of the disadvantages of Li-ion batteries include their susceptibility to overheating and their being prone to damage at high voltages since they are made with flammable and combustible materials.
- Such batteries also start losing their capacity over time — for instance, a laptop battery in use for a few years does not function as well as a new one.
Alternatives to Li-ion batteries
- In January 2020, researchers from Australia claimed that they developed the world’s most efficient lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery, capable of powering a smartphone for five continuous days — the equivalent of an electric car being able to drive a distance of over 1,000 km.
- Li-S batteries are generally considered the successors of Li-ion batteries because of their lower cost of production, energy efficiency and improved safety. Their cost of production is lower because sulfur is abundantly available.
Subject: International Organisations
Context: India condemns Myanmar violence, expresses concern at UNSC meeting.
- The UN Security Council was established by the UN Charter in 1945. It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
- The other 5 organs of the United Nations are—the General Assembly, the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.
- Its primary responsibility is to work to maintain international peace and security.
- The council has 15 members: the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year term
- The five permanent members are the United States, the Russian Federation, France, China and the United Kingdom.
- Each member of the Security Council has one vote. Decisions of the Security Council on matters are made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.
- A “No” vote from one of the five permanent members blocks the passage of the resolution.
- Any member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council whenever the latter considers that the interests of that member are specially affected.
- The council’s presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members.
- The council is headquartered at NewYork.
Context: The population of dolphins in Chilika, India’s largest brackish water lake, and along the Odisha coast has doubled this year compared with last year.
- Chilika is Asia’s largest and world’s second largest lagoon.
- It lies on the east coast of India in the state of Odisha, separated from the mighty Bay of Bengal by a small strip of sand.
- It spreads over Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha on the east coast of India, at the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal, covering an area of over 1,100 square kilometers.
- It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent and is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
- In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
- Major attraction at Chilika is Irrawady dolphins which are often spotted off Satpada Island.
- The large Nalabana Island (Forest of Reeds) covering about 16 sq km in the lagoon area was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987.
- Kalijai Temple – Located on an island in the Chilika Lake.
Context: Residents of 12 Meghalaya villages oppose dam on India’s clearest river.
- Umngot River is the cleanest river in India and in some parts is as transparent as crystal and you can actually see the river bed.
- Umngot river, that flows in both India and Bangladesh, is in Meghalaya
- The river is the natural boundary between RiPnar (of Jaintia Hills) with HimaKhyrim (of Khasi Hills) over which hangs a single span suspension bridge.
Subject: National Organisations
Context: The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has divested Rakesh Kumar, Director, National Environment Engineering and Research Institute (NEERI) .
- The CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) is a research institute created and funded by Government of India.
- It was established in Nagpur in 1958 with focus on water supply, sewage disposal, and communicable diseases and to some extent on industrial pollution and occupational diseases found common in post-independent India.
- NEERI is a pioneer laboratory in the field of environmental science and engineering and part of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
- NEERI has five zonal laboratories at Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. NEERI falls under the Ministry of Science and Technology (India) of central government.
- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is the largest research and development (R&D) organisation in India.
- Established: September 1942
- Located: New Delhi
- CSIR is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- CSIR covers a wide spectrum of streams – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.
- It provides significant technological intervention in many areas with regard to societal efforts which include the environment, health, drinking water, food, housing, energy, and farm and non-farm sectors.
- President: Prime Minister of India (Ex-officio)
- Vice President: Union Minister of Science and Technology (Ex-officio)
- Governing Body: The Director-General is the head of the governing body.
- The other ex-officio member is the finance secretary (expenditures).
- Other members’ terms are of three years.
- CSIR Advisory Board: 15-member body composed of prominent members from respective fields of science and technology.
- Its function is to provide science and technology inputs to the governing body.
- Member terms are are of three years.
Context: Detailed analysis of South Asian river dolphins has revealed that the Indus and Ganges River dolphins are not one, but two separate species.
- Scientific Name: Platanista minor.
- Habitat: Indus river dolphins are one of only four river dolphin species and subspecies in the world that spend all of their lives in freshwater.
- Distribution: The Indus river dolphin is the second most endangered freshwater river dolphin. At present, there are only around 1,800 of these in the Indus in Pakistan. Their population in the Beas River is between eight to 10.
- IUCN status: Endangered.
- Indus Dolphins are brown/grey in colour.
- They are functionally blind and rely on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey including prawns, catfish and carp.
- They live for at least for 30 years and grow over 2 metres in length.
- Scientific Name: Platanista gangetica
- The Ganges River Dolphin was officially discovered in 1801.
- IUCN Status : Endangered
- Ganges river dolphins live in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
- The Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind.
- They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind. They are also called ‘susu’.
- It is a reliable indicator of the health of the entire river ecosystem.
- It was recognised as the National Aquatic Animal in 2009, by the Government of India.
Context: New findings from Rutgers University say corals will survive climate change. This is owing to their capacity to form rock hard skeletons, the study finds.
- Coral are made up of genetically identical organisms called polyps. These polyps have microscopic algae called zooxanthellae living within their tissues.
- The corals and algae have a mutualistic relationship.
- The coral provides the zooxanthellae with the compounds necessary for photosynthesis.
- In return, the zooxanthellae supply the coral with organic products of photosynthesis, like carbohydrates, which are utilized by the coral polyps for synthesis of their calcium carbonate skeletons.
- In addition to providing corals with essential nutrients, zooxanthellae are responsible for the unique and beautiful colors of corals.
- They are also called the “rainforests of the seas”.
There are 2 types of corals:
- Stony, shallow-water corals—the kind that build reefs.
- Soft corals and deep water corals that live in dark cold waters.
- When corals face stress by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients, they expel the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white. This phenomenon is called coral bleaching.
- The pale white colour is of the translucent tissues of calcium carbonate which are visible due to the loss of pigment producing zooxanthellae.
- Corals can recover if the stress-caused bleaching is not severe.
- Coral bleaching has occurred in the Caribbean, Indian, and Pacific oceans on a regular basis.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Using observations made by ChemCam instrument on Curiosity rover at the base of Mount Sharp on Mars, a French–US team of scientists has deduced that water did not disappear from Mars at one go, but that it alternated between dry and wet conditions before drying up completely 3 billion years ago.
- Curiosity is an SUV-sized Mars rover designed to explore the Gale crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission.
- The Curiosity is the largest and most capable rover ever sent to Mars. It landed on Mars in August, 2012.
- The purpose of the mission is to find chemical and mineral evidence of past habitable environments on Mars.
- Curiosity’s large size allows it to carry an advanced kit of 10 science instruments.
- It has tools including 17 cameras, a laser to vaporize and study small pinpoint spots of rocks at a distance, and a drill to collect powdered rock samples. It hunts for special rocks that formed in water and/or have signs of organics.
- Gale Crater formed when a meteor hit Mars in its early history, about 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago.
- The meteor impact punched a hole in the terrain. The explosion ejected rocks and soil that landed around the crater.
- Scientists chose Gale Crater as the landing site for Curiosity because it has many signs that water was present over its history.
Subject: National Organisations
Context : The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has asked markets regulator Sebi to pass final order in six months in a case related to CG Power and Industrial Solutions, wherein the company’s ex-chairman GautamThapar and three other former officials were banned from the securities market.
- SAT is a statutory body established under the provisions of Section 15K of the SEBI Act, 1992.
- Located at Mumbai.
- SAT consists of a Presiding Officer and Two other members.
- The Presiding officer of SAT shall be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India or his nominee.
Powers & Functions:
- It has the same powers as vested in a civil court. Further, if any person feels aggrieved by SAT’s decision or order can appeal to the Supreme Court.
- To hear and dispose of appeals against orders passed by the SEBI or by an adjudicating officer under the SEBI Act,1992.
- To hear and dispose of appeals against orders passed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
- To hear and dispose of appeals against orders passed by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
Context: New research: Many endemic species can go extinct unless Paris pact goal is met. Climate change will negatively affect most native and endemic species — those that are only found in very specific places.
Paris Climate Agreement:
- Paris Agreement is an international agreement to combat climate change.It is widely recognized as a historic deal to stop global warming.
- Keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
- Pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- Strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)
- The national pledges by countries to cut emissions are voluntary.
- The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.
- This includes requirements that all Parties report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.
- In 2018, Parties will take stock of the collective efforts in relation to progress towards the goal set in the Paris Agreement.
- There will also be a global stock take every 5 years to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties.
India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)
- India’s INDC include a reduction in the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level.
- India has also pledged to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
- India will anchor a global solar alliance, INSPA (International Agency for Solar Policy & Application), of all countries located in between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
Frameworks under Paris Agreement
- Technology Framework
- Capacity Building Framework
- Transparency Framework
When will Paris Agreement come into force?
- Thirty days after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary.
- On 5 October 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved.