Daily Prelims Notes 11 July 2021
- July 11, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
11 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- Sikkim blossoms: State home to 27% of India’s flowering plants
- Cuba develops the world’s first conjugate vaccine for COVID-19
- Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia open to Muslim worship
- Rajasthan’s education guidelines irk NCPCR
- Immunity Debt
- The 2020 Millennium Technology Prize
- ISRO plans to launch geo imaging satellite on August 12
- The Basel Committee
- Booster shots
- Zoonotic disease
Context : Sikkim, the smallest State with less than 1% of India’s landmass, is home to 27% of all flowering plants found in the country, reveals a recent publication by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).
- The publication lists 532 species of wild orchids (which is more than 40% of all orchid species found in India), 36 species of rhododendron and 20 species of oak, and more than 30 species of high-value medicinal plants, among other species.
- Despite being the smallest state in India with less than 1% of India’s landmass, Sikkim is home to 27% of all flowering plants found in India.
- This presence of a diverse set of ecosystems varying from the subalpine to the temperate to the tropical is one of the reasons for high diversity of flora in Sikkim.
- Developmental activities such as the widening of roads to Nathu La and the hydel power plants in north Sikkim could have a negative impact on the rich biodiversity of Sikkim.
- Sikkim is a part of the Kanchenjunga biosphere landscape.
- Sikkim is home to different altitudinal ecosystems, with the elevation varing from 300 metres to above 8500 metres above mean sea level
- The Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity & Reverence) Rules, 2017 allows any person to associate with trees standing on his or her private land or on any public land by entering into a Mith/Mit or Mitini relationship.
- This is an acknowledgement of the unique cultural practice prevalent in Sikkim and is of significance given the global environmental conservational efforts underway.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : Cuba’s indigenously produced vaccines- Soberana 2 and Abdala have registered strong efficacy against the SARS-CoV-2.
- Both Soberana 2 and Abdala are subunit vaccines.
- In Abdala the spike protein of the coronavirus is combined with a chemically manufactured adjuvant, whereas in Soberana 2, the spike protein is chemically linked to the tetanus toxoid, making it a conjugate vaccine.
- Rather than injecting a whole pathogen to trigger an immune response, subunit vaccines (sometimes called acellular vaccines) contain purified pieces of it, which have been specially selected for their ability to stimulate immune cells.
- In the case of these subunit vaccines, a part of the virus forms the antigen and is hitched on to another construct.
- A conjugate vaccine is a type of vaccine which combines a weak antigen with a strong antigen as a carrier so that the immune system has a stronger immunological response to the weak antigen.
- The most common conjugate vaccines are those used for Haemophilus influenza type b and the pneumococcal bacteria.
- Major advantages of the conjugate vaccines are their ability to elicit immunological memory and to reduce asymptomatic carriage of the bacteria, resulting in marked herd immunity.
- Also conjugate vaccines have a very good safety record and have been associated with very few, serious adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) after more than 20 years of use.
- They give rise to improved immune memory and thus offer longer lasting protection.
- They help offer protection to infants and toddlers,
Significance of the Cuban vaccines:
- The design and manufacturing of the conjugate vaccines allows them to be stored in regular refrigeration settings of 2–8 degree Celsius
- The methodology involved is also one of the most economical approaches to vaccine production.
Subject : Culture / IR
Context : Turkey’s president RecepTayyip Erdogan has declared Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia open to Muslim worship after a top court ruled that the building’s conversion to a museum by modern Turkey’s founding statesman was illegal.
- It was first constructed as a cathedral in the Christian Byzantine Empire but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
- It is a historic house of worship located in Istanbul.
- It is revered by Christians and Muslims alike.
- In 1935, in the early days of the modern secular Turkish state under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it became a museum.
- It is a UNESO world heritage site.
Subject : Governance
Context : National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has pulled up the Rajasthan government for its new guidelines on elementary education.
- NCPCR said the new guidelines “violate” the Right to Education Act of 2009 and deny children from economically weaker sections the right to free education in nursery classes.
- The guidelines state that admissions to private schools under the RTE Act, 2009, for the 2020-21 academic year will take place only from class 1 or above, and that the law’s provisions will not be applicable for pre-schoolers.
- This is in contravention of the RTE Act 2009, which states that private schools will have to admit, “to the extent of at least twenty five per cent of the strength of that class, children belonging toweaker section and disadvantaged group in the neighbourhood and provide free and compulsory education till its completion.”
- The guidelines also violate the RTE Act insofar as they recommend the age of admission to be “5 years or above but less than 7 years as of 31st March 2020.”
- However, under the Central law there is no such restriction and a “male or female child of the age of six to fourteen years” can seek admission.
Under the RTE Act, 2009, the NCPCR can:
- inquire into complaints about violation of the law.
- summon an individual and demand evidence.
- seek a magisterial enquiry.
- file a writ petition in the High Court or Supreme Court.
- approach the government concerned for prosecution of the offender.
- recommend interim relief to those affected.
- Set up in March 2007 under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005.
- It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
- The Commission’s Mandate is to ensure that all Laws, Policies, Programmes, and Administrative Mechanisms are in consonance with the Child Rights perspective as enshrined in the Constitution of India and also the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- This commission has a chairperson and six members of which at least two should be women.
- All of them are appointed by Central Government for three years.
- The maximum age to serve in commission is 65 years for Chairman and 60 years for members.
Subject : Science & tech
Context : Amid the gradual easing of lockdowns, some countries are reporting a higher number of respiratory infections, including unseasonal diseases such as influenza and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
- Experts have attributed this spike in respiratory infections to what is being called the “immunity debt” brought on by non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) put in place to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- The NPIs included measures such as social distancing, use of masks, and hand hygiene.
- The constant exposure to infectious agents boosts the immune response in the human body.
- In the absence of this, there is a possibility that there could be unseasonal outbreaks with greater severity than usual. This is a major concern for infant population in particular.
- Disruptions to the seasonal transmission patterns of these diseases may have consequences for the timing and severity of future outbreaks.
Subject : Current Events
- The 2020 Millennium Technology Prize, has been awarded to Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman, for their development of revolutionary DNA sequencing techniques.
- The Millennium Prize is awarded by the Republic of Finland, along with top Finnish academic institutions and industries.
- Their “Next Generation Sequencing” (NGS) method could enable faster and cheaper methods to genome sequencing.
Subject : Science & tech
Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is getting back into launch activity fully at Sriharikotaspaceport with the planned orbiting of geo imaging satellite GISAT-1 on board GSLV-F10 rocket on August 12.
- GISAT-1 (Geo Imaging Satellite) will be placed in a geostationary orbit of around 36,000 km.
- All Indian EOs satellites have been placed so far in a 600-odd-km orbits and circle the earth pole to pole.
- It will apparently be in a fixed spot looking over the Indian continent at all times.
- It will have high-resolution cameras which will help to monitor any changes in borders and the overall geographical condition of the country, etc.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: As states ease the lockdown, opportunities for crowding and for potentially enhanced transmission will increase. R-values are early warning signals
- The R-number, a mathematically calculated estimate which measures the number of people who are being infected by an already infected person,.
- The R-naught, or R0, is a virus’s basic reproductive number — an epidemiologic metric used to describe the contagiousness of infectious agents.
- At its simplest, the basic reproductive number can show us how worried we should be about infection
- If the R0 is above one, each case is expected to infect at least one other person on average, and the virus is likely to keep spreading.
- If it’s less than one, a group of infected people are less likely to spread the infection.
- The national average for the R-value, or reproduction number, one of the parameters of Covid-19 transmission, is 1.32, indicating that one infected person spreads the virus to more than one but less than two people.
Subject: Arts and Culture
Context: in Odisha’s Puri district, the 42-year-old Pattachitra artiste’s trade has taken a hit since the 2019 super cyclone Fani and the series of Covid-induced lockdowns enforced in the past year.
- Pattachitra’ has evolved from the Sanskrit words ‘patta’ (canvas) and ‘chitra’ (picture).
- A pictorial narration of mythological and religious folklore on palm leaves and canvas with natural colours, the Pattachitra art has been passed down generations,
- The Pattachitra when painted on cloth follows a traditional process of preparation of the canvas. First the base is prepared by coating the cloth with the soft, white, stone powder of chalk and glue made from tamarind seeds.
- The artist does not use a pencil or charcoal for the preliminary drawings. It is a tradition to complete the borders of the painting first.
- The gum of the kaitha tree is the chief ingredient, and is used as a base for making different pigments, on which diverse raw materials are mixed for diverse colours. Powdered conch shells, for instance, are used for making a white pigment, while lamp soot is used for a black pigment. The root of the keya plant is usually used for making the common brush, while mouse hair is used on the requirement of finer brushes, to be attached to wooden handles.
- The painter then starts making a rough sketch directly with the brush using light red and yellowrk. When the painting is completed it is held over a charcoal fire and lacquer is applied to the surface.
- The materials used in the paint are from vegetable, earth, and mineral sources. Black is made out of lampblack, yellow from haritala stone, and red from shingle stone. White is prepared from crushed, boiled, and filtered shells. otifs.
- The Pattachitra artists also paint their themes on wooden boxes, on bowls, on tussar silk, on outer shells of the coconut, and on wooden doors.
- The themes were tribal and folk, intricate Pattachitra exhibits depicting the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Krishna Leela, JaganathDarshan, apart from myriad gods and goddesses, Painting carts for the annual JagannathRath Yatra, the ornamentation of Lord Jagannath in the innermost sanctum
Context: Banks clearing gold trades in London can apply for an exemption from tighter capital rules due in January 2022, a British regulator said on Friday,
- The Basel Committee – initially named the Committee on Banking Regulations and Supervisory Practices was established by the central bank Governors of the Group of Ten countries at the end of 1974 in the aftermath of serious disturbances in international currency and banking markets
- The BCBS is the primary global standard setter for the prudential regulation of banks and provides a forum for cooperation on banking supervisory matters.
- Its mandate is to strengthen the regulation, supervision and practices of banks worldwide with the purpose of enhancing financial stability.
- The BCBS does not possess any formal supranational authority.
- Its decisions do not have legal force. Rather, the BCBS relies on its members’ commitments
- BCBS members include organizations with direct banking supervisory authority and central banks.
- The Basel Accords are three series of banking regulations(Basel I, II, and III) set by the Basel Committee on Bank Supervision (BCBS).
- The committee provides recommendations on banking regulations, specifically, concerning capital risk, market risk, and operational risk. The accords ensure that financial institutions have enough capital on account to absorb unexpected losses.
- In 2010, Basel III guidelines were concluded. These guidelines were introduced in response to the financial crisis of 2008. The guidelines aim to promote a more resilient banking system by focusing on four vital banking parameters viz. capital, leverage, funding and liquidity.
Britain carves out exemption for gold clearing banks from Basel III rule
- Its upcoming rules, known as the net stable funding ratio (NSFR), are part of Basel III regulations designed to make banks more stable and prevent a repeat of the financial crisis of 2008-09.
- The rules treat physically traded gold like any other commodity, requiring banks to hold more cash to match their gold exposure as a buffer against adverse price moves.
- The rule would not classify gold as a high-quality liquid asset, which would have freed other trades such as precious metals loans and leases from the high capital requirement, which supports stability in bullion cleaning and avoids disruption to the London market.
Subject: Science and Technology
Concept: The World Health Organization (WHO) will take a decision on the inclusion or exclusion of Covaxin in its emergency use listing (EUL) of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines in four-six weeks,
- The fully vaccinated people by now clearly shows that immune responses last up to 8-12 months ,Hence a booster is a means of strengthening one’s immune system against a particular pathogen.
- The same original vaccine, in which case its goal is to increase the protection by producing more antibodies.
- boosters given after six months of full immunisation can increase antibody level so high that they protect against all the variants
- These boosters will be particularly helpful for the elderly and immunocompromised people.
- There are studies showing that a new variant can sneak past the antibodies created by a specific vaccine, the need of a tweaked booster shot arises then.
WHO was concerned, it was quite clear that at least 10 per cent of populations in all the countries should be vaccinated by September and 40 per cent within the country, before countries start thinking about boosters.
Subject: Science and Tech
Context: A quarter of mammal species in wildlife trade host 75 per cent of zoonotic diseases that can spread from animals to humans, according to a recently published study.
- According to the research, found Rodents and bats, primates and even-toed ungulates such as deer (often poached for their meat) and carnivores, alone host 58 per cent of the known zoonotic viruses present in the wildlife trade.
- The researchers surveyed the association of 226 viruses responsible for zoonotic diseases with more than 800 mammal species distinguished into three categories: traded, non-traded, and domesticated mammals. analysis suggests that risk from those species that are traded is higher than those that are not traded
- The ongoing deforestation, land-use change and habitat fragmentation could result in direct contact and disease transmission between humans and the species listed in their study.
- The National Mission on Biodiversity and Human Wellbeing has proposed the establishment of surveillance sites to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases.
- Such sites could also be used for pathogen surveillance in confiscated wildlife specimens.