Daily Prelims Notes 15 May 2023
- May 15, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
15 May 2023
Table Of Contents
- Mocha is the strongest cyclone on earth so far in this year
- Studies on migration patterns of milkweed butterflies
- INTACH demands heritage tag for Paralakhemundi railway station in Odisha
- How old are Saturn’s rings? New research has answers
- Nutritional Value of Millets
- Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT)
- MoD approves 4th Positive Indigenization List for DPSUs
- Late Bail orders and Right to Personal Liberty
Context: Mocha, with a recorded wind speed of 150 knots or 277 kilometres per hour, also became the strongest cyclone in the North Indian Ocean during the pre-monsoon season, tying with Cyclone Fani.
More on the News:
- Cyclone Mocha was a very severe cyclonic storm that formed in the Bay of Bengal on May 10, 2023. The storm intensified rapidly, reaching peak winds of 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour) before making landfall in Bangladesh on May 14. The storm caused widespread damage in Bangladesh and Myanmar.
- IMD had predicted the formation of a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’, which was later upgraded to ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ and now a super cyclone is on the cards.
- Mocha made landfall during the afternoon hours of May 14 on the Myanmar coast near Sittwe at a speed of 180-190 kmph, gusting to 210 kmph, IMD stated.
- Cyclone Mocha was the strongest cyclone to hit Bangladesh in over a decade. The storm caused widespread flooding and damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. The government of Bangladesh declared a state of emergency and deployed the military to help with relief efforts.
- Cyclone Mocha also caused significant damage in Myanmar. The storm made landfall in the country’s Rakhine state, which is home to many Rohingya refugees. The storm displaced thousands of refugees and destroyed many of their homes. The United Nations estimates that Cyclone Mocha could have a devastating impact on the Rohingya refugee population.
- Heavy rainfall, with the possible risk of floods, flash floods and landslides and there will be major impacts both ahead and after landfall for potentially hundreds of thousands of the world’s most vulnerable people.
- According to IMD, the Northeastern states of Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and the southern part of Assam were likely to witness heavy-to-very heavy rains until May 18.
- It also mentioned that maximum temperatures were above normal by 2-4 degrees Celsius over parts of Northwest, central and Northeast India.
Naming of Cyclone:
- Cyclones are mostly named after regions and areas where they are formed, mostly the region of the sea or river where it is formed. Similarly, Cyclone Mocha was named after a part of the Red Sea port which introduced coffee into the world 500 years ago. Hence, on a suggestion made by Yemen, the cyclone was named Cyclone Mocha (Mokha).
Classification of Cyclone:
More about the Cyclone: https://optimizeias.com/mocha-summer-cyclones-not-new-fani-amphan-were-may-storms-too/
Section: species in news
Context: Studies on migration patterns of milkweed butterflies and their feeding habits can help protect them, say researchers
More on the Research Findings:
- Millions of Milkweed butterflies undertake a migration between the Eastern and Western Ghats in southern India, seeking refuge from the harsh summer.
- This spectacular ecological phenomenon had been recorded more than a century ago but received little research and conservation attention until recently.
- However, a recent study by a team of researchers shed light on the migration patterns of Milkweed butterflies in southern India, which has the potential to contribute to the conservation of these butterflies and their migration in the face of ongoing changes in land use, habitat degradation, and climate warming.
- The study was published in the recent issue of the Journal of Insect Conservation.
- After southwest monsoon, Milkweed butterflies migrate westward from the Eastern Ghats and plains to the Western Ghats, becoming active for more than two months upon their arrival.
- Between October and April, most of the Milkweed butterflies in the Western Ghats congregate in large numbers at specific sites during winter and dry seasons. When the summer rain cools southern India, the butterflies migrate eastwards into the Eastern Ghats and the plains.
- The studies reveal that the wings of the majority of butterflies during their eastward journey are battered than that in the westward migration.
- Also, the researchers found that the dominant species involved in the migration, Dark blue tiger and Double-branded crow, are not found breeding in the mid and high-altitude evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of the Western Ghats.
- The migration of Milkweed butterflies also plays a vital ecological role during the migration. As pollinators, their movements can impact entire ecosy
- Their migration is threatened by habitat destruction and climate change.
- Studying their migration patterns and feeding habits can impart the interconnectedness of plant and animal life. By unravelling the mysteries of their migration, can help protect these beautiful creatures and the ecosystems they inhabit.
- They are any of a group of butterflies in the brush-footed butterfly family (Nymphalidae).
- There are some 300 species in the group, including the iconic Monarch butterfly.
- The majority of species are found in both Old and New World tropics (Old World refers to Europe, Africa, and Asia, while New World refers to North America, South America, and the Caribbean).
- However, some well-known members of the group, such as the monarch butterfly and the queen butterfly, live in temperate regions.
- The large, colourful adults have long, usually brownish or orange wings marked by black-and-white patterns.
- They fly slowly, and some, such as the monarch butterfly, migrate great distances.
- They feed chiefly on milkweed and sometimes on nightshade.
- These plants contain acrid, milky juices that probably make the larva and its subsequent stages distasteful to predators. This, combined with a conspicuous colouration, protects them.
Section: Art and Culture
The Odisha unit of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has demanded preservation and heritage status for the Paralakhemundi railway station in Odisha’s Gajapati district.
Paralakhemundi railway station:
- It belongs to East Coast Railway of Waltair division
- It is located in Gajapati district of Odisha
- It was established by Gajapati Maharaja of Paralakhemundi and it is first odisha Origin Railway station of Odisha state
- This line was the first Lite rail line of eastern India otherwise known as Parlakimedi Light Railway PLR
- The Mahendragiri Hills, which are biodiversity, heritage and pilgrimage site, have the nearest railhead at Paralakhemundi.
- The hills have some of the oldest temples of India which find reference in both the Ramayana and Mahabharata
Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)
- INTACH was founded in 1984 in New Delhi
- It aims to create a membership organisation to stimulate and spearhead heritage awareness and conservation in India
- It is a non-profit charitable organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860
- The INTACH Logo, based on the anthropomorphic copper figure from Shahabad, Uttar Pradesh, belonging to the enigmatic Copper Hoards of the Ganga Valley
World Heritage Site
- It is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention (the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage) administered by the UNESCO in 1972.
- They are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance.
- The sites are judged to contain cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
- There are 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Dholavira and Ramappa Temple are the latest addition to the list under the ‘Cultural Category’.
Subject: Science and Technology
Section: Space technology
Context: Researchers have pegged the planet Saturn’s rings’ age at no more than 400 million years old
What are the new findings?
- Saturn’s rings are remarkably young, much younger than Saturn itself, which is about 4.5 billion years old.
- The researchers arrived this by studying tiny grains of rocky material washing through the Earth’s solar system on an almost constant basis.
- In some cases, this flux can leave behind a thin layer of dust on planetary bodies, including on the ice that makes up Saturn’s rings
- Think about the rings like the carpet in your house. “If you have a clean carpet laid out, you just have to wait. Dust will settle on your carpet. The same is true for the rings
- Scientists used an instrument called the Cosmic Dust Analyzer aboard US’s NASA’s late Cassini spacecraft to analyse specks of dust flying around Saturn
- Based on calculations on the 163 grains collected over those 13 years, all of which had originated from beyond the planet’s close neighborhood, Saturn’s rings have likely been gathering dust for only a few hundred million years
- Saturn hosts seven rings comprised of countless chunks of ice, most no bigger than a boulder on Earth
- The spacecraft Cassini first arrived at Saturn in 2004 and collected data until it purposefully crashed into the planet’s atmosphere in 2017.
What is Saturn Rings?
- Saturn’s rings are thought to be pieces of comets, asteroids, or shattered moons that broke up before they reached the planet, torn apart by Saturn’s powerful gravity
- They are made of billions of small chunks of ice and rock coated with other materials such as dust
- The ring particles mostly range from tiny, dust-sized icy grains to chunks as big as a house. A few particles are as large as mountains.
- The rings would look mostly white if you looked at them from the cloud tops of Saturn, and interestingly, each ring orbits at a different speed around the planet.
- Saturn is made mostly of hydrogen and helium.
- At Saturn’s center is a dense core of metals like iron and nickel surrounded by rocky material and other compounds solidified by intense pressure and heat.
- It is enveloped by liquid metallic hydrogen inside a layer of liquid hydrogen
- Saturn is the only planet in our solar system with an average density that is less than water.
- As a gas giant, Saturn doesn’t have a true surface. The planet is mostly swirling gases and liquids deeper down
Section: Economic geography
- Millets are gaining popularity across the world as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has declared 2023 to be the “International Year of Millets”
- Millets are mainly grasses that are cultivated across the world as cereal crops, particularly in the tropical regions of Africa and Asia.
- The most famous varieties of millet include pearl millet, barnyard millet, finger millet, and foxtail millet.
- India is the largest producer of millets in the world.
- Evidence indicates that millets were first cultivated in the Indian subcontinent about five millennia ago.
- According to reports, India In 2021-2022 accounted for about 40.51% of the world’s pearl millet production and 8.09% of sorghum.
- In India, pearl millet accounts for about 60% of all the millet production which is followed by sorghum (27%), and ragi (11%).
Significance of Millet cultivation
- High nutritional value: The nutritional value associated with millets is very high compared to other major extant food crops.
- The nutritional content of millets includes carbohydrates, proteins, fibre, amino acids, and minerals.
- Drought resistant: Millets have the ability to withstand and grow in harsh, resource-poor conditions.
- Millets are drought-tolerant and can grow in warm weather, requiring less moisture and loamy soil.
- Affordable nature: Millets can grow on arid lands with minimal inputs. Thus cultivation of millet ensures that affordable foods can be produced that can contribute to healthy diets and a healthy environment.
- Food security and economic viability: Millets being climate-smart grains offer great opportunities for strengthening food security, nutrition security and bolstering economic growth.
Processing of Millets and its impact on nutritional content
- The ‘whole grain’ consists of the endosperm, germ, and bran (pericarp + aleurone). However, the “refined grain” refers only to the endosperm.
- The endosperm is the largest part of the millet kernel and is called the “storage centre”. The endosperm also has a protein covering called the “aleurone”.
- The pericarp has an outer covering called the husk. The husk and the pericarp protect the kernel from harsh conditions, diseases, and damages.
Effect of processing of millets :
- Processing of millets for consumption can affect nutrients in three different ways, namely enhancing them, suppressing them, and ignoring them.
- During processing, the husk is first removed from the grains as it is made of cellulosic matter that the human body cannot digest.
- However, this results in the decline of the phytic acid and polyphenol contents in the millets.
- The next step in processing involves decortication of the grain, wherein the outer covering is removed in order to expose the seed. This is made to make the grain more edible and attractive.
- Decortication of the grains adversely impacts the crude and dietary fibre content in the millet grains.
- The next steps involve milling, grinding (into flour), and sieving to remove large impurities such as bran.
- Studies have revealed that sieving made the flour more digestible. However, it also reduced nutrient content due to the removal of bran.
Polishing of Millets :
- Polishing is typically the last step and it is a process wherein brown rice, for example, is changed to white rice by rubbing off the bran and the germ.
- According to various studies, polishing removed 8-10% of grain weight and also removed important nutritional contents such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.
Subject : Science and technology
- Mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) is a new form of reproductive invitro fertilization (IVF) which works on the principle of replacing a women’s abnormal mitochondrial DNA (mt-DNA) with the donor’s healthy one.
What are Mitochondrial Disorders?
Just as our bodies have organs that perform particular functions, each cell within the body has small structures, aptly termed organelles, which have specific, life-sustaining jobs. For example, one of the primary organelles in each cell is the nucleus, which contains our DNA, or genetic information. Another type of organelle is mitochondria, which function to provide our cells, and thus our bodies, with energy. Interestingly, mitochondria also contain a very small amount of DNA, making them the only organelle other than the nucleus to house genetic information
Similar to nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA serves an important purpose, namely providing the genetic blueprint for molecular machines called proteins that carry out cellular functions. However, this capacity of mitochondria to carry DNA also makes them a genetic liability of sorts. Specifically, just like nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA is susceptible to mutations in the DNA code that can cause disease. If these DNA mutations lead to the production of damaged mitochondrial proteins, they can cause a class of diseases termed mitochondrial disorders.
Mitochondrial disorders are fairly common, affecting at least 1 in 5,000 births in the United States, and they exhibit a very unique inheritance pattern. Unlike nuclear DNA, which is passed in equal parts to a child from both parents, mitochondria are inherited solely from mothers. As such, if a mother has damaged mitochondrial DNA, she will pass this on to all of her children causing disease of a varied severity depending on the proportion of healthy and damaged mitochondria the child randomly inherits
To avoid this, scientists have developed techniques that allow them to use mtDNA from a donor, along with DNA from a mother and father. These are generally called mitochondrial replacement therapies, or MRT.
There are a few different ways of doing this, but most teams use one of two approaches. Some scoop out the nuclei of two eggs, one from a prospective parent and one from a donor. Then they put the would-be parent’s nucleus into the egg of the donor, which still contains the cytoplasm, the fluid outside the nucleus that holds the mitochondria. The resulting egg can then be fertilized with sperm, creating an embryo that technically has three genetic parents.
Step-by-Step Process –
- First, sperm from the father is used to fertilise eggs from the affected mother and a healthy female donor.
- The nuclear genetic material from the donor’s egg is then removed and replaced with that from the couple’s fertilised egg.
- The resulting egg has a full set of chromosomes from both parents, but carries the donor’s healthy mitochondria instead of the mother’s faulty ones.
- This is then implanted in the womb.
- The resulting baby has DNA from the mother and father as usual, plus a small amount of genetic material – about 37 genes – from the donor.
- The process has led to the phrase “three-parent babies”, though more than 99.8% of the DNA in the babies comes from the mother and father.
- The development of healthy baby free from genetic disorders and to terminate the lethal mitochondrial disorders is the chief motive of this technique.
Is MRT Procedure Risk-Free?
- The procedure is not without risks.
- Recent research has found that in some cases, the tiny number of abnormal mitochondria that are inevitably carried over from the mother’s egg to the donor egg can multiply when the baby is in the womb.
- So-called reversion or reversal could lead to a disease in the child.
- So far, the clinical experience with MRT has been encouraging, but the number of reported cases is far too small to draw any definitive conclusions about the safety or efficacy.
- Long-term follow-up of the children born through MRT is essential.
Legality of MRT:
- The United Kingdom, in 2016, became the first country in the world to legalise MRT.
- Last year, Australia became the second country to approve this therapy.
- In the United States, the therapy is illegal as it is considered as a form of genetic modification, and changes made to eggs, and sperm and embryos — known as germline modification — can be passed on to future generations.
- Certain defects might occur impacting on the way the mitochondria produces energy for the cells (Specially in the ‘energy-hungry’ tissues of the brain, nerves, muscles, kidneys, heart, liver), and thereby impacting cell function.
- The diseases that arise out of such mitochondrial mutations are called mitochondrial diseases.
- When the mitochondria are impaired and do not produce sufficient energy, that affects how the organs function, leading to a broad assortment of symptoms across the body, including brain damage, organ failure and muscle wastage.
- Mitochondria makes up less than 0.0005% of our entire DNA. But since the child receives it only from the mother, any aberrations in her mitochondrial DNA that may cause diseases is passed on completely to the child.
- According to the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute, approximately 1 in 5,000-10,000 children are born each year with mitochondrial disease.
Subject : Science and Technology
- Defence Ministry has approved the 4th Positive Indigenisation List (PIL) of 928 strategically-important Line Replacement Units (LRUs), sub-systems, spares and components, including high-end materials and spares, with import substitution value worth ₹715 crore, a Ministry statement said on Sunday.
- These will only be procured from the Indian Industry after the timelines indicated on the list.
Building upon Previous PILs
- The 4th Positive Indigenisation List is a continuation of the previous three PILs that were published in December 2021, March 2022, and August 2022, respectively.
- Combined, these lists have already facilitated the indigenisation of 2,500 items.
- The current PIL aims to further indigenize 1,238 items within the specified timelines. This progressive approach showcases the steady growth of indigenous manufacturing capabilities in the defence sector.
Positive Indigenisation List (PIL)
- The positive indigenisation list essentially means that the Armed Forces—Army, Navy, and Air Force—will only procure the listed items from domestic manufacturers.
- The manufacturers could be private sector players or Defense Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
- This concept was rolled out in the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020.
- It will give a boost to indigenisation with active participation of public and private sector for fulfilling the twin objectives of achieving self-reliance (Atmanirbhar Bharat) and promoting defence exports.
- Import substitution of ammunition which is a recurring requirement has been given special focus.
- Not only does the list recognise the potential of the local defence industry, it will also invigorate impetus to domestic Research & Development by attracting fresh investment into technology and manufacturing capabilities.
- It also provides an excellent opportunity for ‘start-ups’, as Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will get a tremendous boost from this initiative.
Subject : Polity
- The Supreme Court has recently held that bail orders should neither be too long and elaborate nor come too late as both violate the constitutional mandate of personal liberty.
- The supreme court highlighted that, while rejecting or granting bail to accused persons, Judges should not slip into extensive deliberations on the merits of the case or evidence involved.
- As such long debates at the stage of bail may prejudice the case itself for the accused.
- Also, that once a case for bail is reserved for orders, the pronouncement of the decision should not take too long as further waiting is a dent on the personal liberty of an undertrial.
- Therefore, the Supreme Court has deprecated the practice of detailed elaboration of evidence in the orders granting/rejecting bail/anticipatory bail and the practice of long delay between reserving the matter for order and pronouncing the order.
- Bail is the conditional release of a person held under legal custody in matters which are yet to be pronounced by the Court, by undertaking a promise to appear in the Court as and when required.
- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 governs the terms of the bail.
- Section 2 (a) of the CrPC,1973 defines the phrases “bailable offense” and “non-bailable offense” even though the Act does not define “bail” expressly.
Different categories of bail:
- Section 2(a) of CrPC categorizes a bailable offence.
- It means that an offence that is classified as bailable in the First Schedule of the Code, or which is classified as bailable under any other law.
- An accused can claim bail as a matter of right if he is accused of committing a bailable offence.
- Under Section 436 of CrPC 1973, a person accused of a bailable offence at any time while under arrest without a warrant and at any stage of the proceedings has the right to be released on bail.
- A non-bailable offence is defined as any offence which is not a bailable offence.
- A person accused of a non-bailable offence cannot claim bail as a right.
- A person accused of non-bailable offences can be granted bail provided the accused does not qualify the following conditions:
- There are reasonable grounds to believe that he has committed an offence punishable with death penalty or life imprisonment.
- That the accused has committed a cognizable offence and he had been previously convicted of an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment of seven years or more or if the accused been convicted on two or more instances of a cognizable and non-bailable offence.
Types of bails in India:
- Regular bail:
- The court orders the release of a person who is under arrest, from police custody after paying the amount as bail money.
- An accused can apply for regular bail under Section 437 and 439 of CrPC.
- Interim bail:
- This is a direct order by the court to provide temporary and short term bail to the accused until his regular or anticipatory bail application is pending before the court.
- Anticipatory bail:
- This is a direct order of Sessions or High Court to provide pre-arrest bail to an accused of a crime.
- When the person has an apprehension of being arrested, the person can apply for anticipatory bail.