Daily Prelims Notes 17 October 2021
- October 17, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
17 October 2021
Table Of Contents
- E-shram portal
- COP26 climate conference
- PM GatiShakti — National Master Plan
- Heavy Rain And Landslides Over Southern Kerala
- Antibodies produced during Dengue
- Jackie Chan Gecko
- IMD Alerts
- Carl Vinson
- The National Security Guard (NSG)
- Army Air Defence Procurement
- Immoral Traffic Prevention Act
- Medical Devices Rules 2017
- National Water Policy 2012
- DLX1 Protein
- Zeolite oxygen concentrators
Subject – Economy
Context – E-shram portal for unorganised sector to be linked to 3 welfare schemes by year-end
- After launching the first-ever national database of unorganised workers, the labour ministry is now looking at linking welfare schemes with the e-Shram portal to ensure the workers are able to claim benefits with the click of a mouse.
- The first scheme that the ministry will be linking with the portal is the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojana, which will be done in the next fortnight.
- This scheme provides aRs 2 lakh accidental insurance cover to the family of the insured.
- In the event of accidental death of an unorganised sector worker, his family can log on to the online portal and claim the insurance, after uploading proof of their identity. They won’t have to run around.
- The idea is to make the whole process smooth and hassle-free to claim benefits.
- Earlier, as an incentive to register on the e-Shram portal, the labour ministry had decided to waive the annual Rs 12 premium on the accidental insurance cover scheme.
- By the year end, the government also plans to link two other schemes — PM Shram Yogi Maandhan and PM JeevanJyotiBimaYojana — with the portal.
- Under the PM Shram Yogi Maandhan, unorganised sector workers with a monthly income of up to Rs 15,000 are entitled to an assured pension of Rs 3,000 after they retire.
- The PM JeevanJyotiBimaYojana promises Rs 2 lakh risk coverage in case of death of an insured worker due to any reason. The premium is Rs 330 per annum under the scheme, which is auto debited in one installment from the subscriber’s bank account.
- Once these schemes are linked, registered workers will be able to log into the portal and apply for online transfer of funds, eliminating the need to run from pillar to post.
- These three schemes put together will give the workers some amount of social security.
To know more about E-Shram Portal, please click here.
Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojana (PMSBY)
- Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojana is a government scheme launched in 2015.
- Eligibility: Available to people in age group 18 to 70 years with bank account.
- Premium: Rs 12 per annum.
- Payment Mode: The annual premium will get directly auto-debited by the bank from the subscriber’s account.
- Risk Coverage: For accidental death and full disability – Rs 2 Lakh and for partial disability – Rs 1 Lakh.
- Eligibility: Any person with bank a bank account and Aadhaar number linked to the bank account can apply by just submitting the form to the bank every year before 1st of June. Nominee name to be given in the form at the time of applying.
- Terms of Risk Coverage: A person has to opt for the scheme every year. He can also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing in which case his account will be auto-debited every year by the bank.
- Who will implement this Scheme: The scheme will be offered by all Public Sector General Insurance Companies and all other insurers who are willing to join the scheme and tie-up with banks for this purpose.
- The premium paid will be tax-free under section 80C and also the proceeds amount will get tax-exemption u/s 10(10D).But if the proceeds from insurance policy exceed Rs.1 lakh , TDS at the rate of 2% from the total proceeds if no Form 15G or Form 15H is submitted to the insurer.
- Eligibility – Available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 and having a bank account. People who join the scheme before completing 50 years can, however, continue to have the risk of life cover up to the age of 55 years subject to payment of premium.
- Premium – Rs.330 per annum. It will be auto-debited in one instalment.
- Payment Mode – The payment of premium will be directly auto-debited by the bank from the subscribers account.
- Risk Coverage – Rs.2 Lakh in case of death for any reason.
- Terms of Risk Coverage – A person has to opt for the scheme every year. He can also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing, in which case his account will be auto-debited every year by the bank.
- Who will implement this Scheme? – The scheme will be offered by Life Insurance Corporation and all other life insurers who are willing to join the scheme and tie-up with banks for this purpose.
- Government Contribution
- Various other Ministries can co-contribute premium for various categories of their beneficiaries out of their budget or out of Public Welfare Fund created in this budget out of unclaimed money. This will be decided separately during the year.
- Common Publicity Expenditure will be borne by Government.
PM Shram Yogi Maandhan
- Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan is a central government scheme meant for old age protection and social security of Unorganised Workers (UW).
- Eligibility Criteria
- Should be an unorganised worker (UW)
- Entry age between 18 and 40 years
- Monthly Income Rs 15000 or below
- Should not be
- engaged in Organized Sector (membership of EPF/NPS/ESIC)
- an income tax payer
- covered under New Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
- He/ She should possess
- Aadhar card
- Savings Bank Account / Jan Dhan account number with IFSC.
- PM-SYM is a Central Sector Scheme administered by the Ministry of Labour and Employment and implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India and Community Service Centers (CSCs). LIC will be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
- Minimum Assured Pension: Each subscriber shall receive minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
- Family Pension: During the receipt of pension, if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension. Family pension is applicable only to spouse.
- If a beneficiary has given regular contribution and died due to any cause (before age of 60 years), his/her spouse will be entitled to join and continue the scheme subsequently by payment of regular contribution or exit the scheme as per provisions of exit and withdrawal.
- Contribution: The subscriber’s contributions shall be made through ‘auto-debit’ facility from his/ her savings bank account/ Jan- Dhan account.
- PM-SYM functions on a 50:50 basis where prescribed age-specific contribution shall be made by the beneficiary and the matching contribution by the Central Government.
Subject – Environment
Context – The UK will host the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference from October 31 to November 12
- This year marks the 26th Conference of Parties (thus the name COP26) and will be held in the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow.
- The conference comes months after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its assessment report on Earth’s climate, highlighting heat waves, droughts, extreme rainfall and sea-level rise in the coming decades.
Formation of COP
- The Conference of Parties comes under the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC) which was formed in 1994. The UNFCCC was established to work towards “stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”
- It laid out a list of responsibilities for the member states which included:
- Formulating measures to mitigate climate change
- Cooperating in preparing for adaptation to the impact of climate change
- Promoting education, training and public awareness related to climate change.
COP1 to COP25
- COP members have been meeting every year since 1995. The UNFCCC has 198 parties including India, China and the USA.
- The first conference (COP1) was held in 1995 in Berlin.
- At COP3 held in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, the famous Kyoto Protocol was adopted. It commits the member states to pursue limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It entered into force on 16 February 2005 and there are 192 Parties in the Kyoto Protocol.
- India hosted the eighth COP from October 23 to November 1, 2002 in New Delhi.
- One of the most important conferences, COP21 took place from November 30 to December 11, 2015, in Paris, France. Member countries agreed to work together to ‘limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.’
|COP 1||Berlin||1995||The signatories agree to meet annually to maintain control over global warming and see the need to reduce emissions of polluting gases.|
|COP 3||Kyoto.||1997||The Kyoto Protocol is adopted with the commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in industrialized countries. Lays the foundation of the carbon market.|
|COP 8||New Delhi||The conference laid out seven measures including, ‘strengthening of technology transfer… in all relevant sectors, including energy, transport…and the promotion of technological advances through research and development…and the strengthening of institutions for sustainable development.’|
|COP 13||Bali||2007||The Bali Roadmap sets a timetable for negotiations for a new international agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol and include all countries, not only the developed ones.|
|COP 15||Copenhagen||2009||The objective of keeping global warming below 2 ºC is validated and developed countries commit to finance developing countries in the long term.|
|COP16||Cancun||2010||The Cancun Agreements, which formalizes the commitments set out in Copenhagen, are written and the Green Climate Fund is created mainly for climate actions in developing countries.|
|COP17.||Durban||2011||his time, all countries agree to start reducing emissions, including the US and emerging countries (Brazil, China, India and South Africa). It was decided to negotiate a global agreement that would came into force in 2020.|
|COP18||Doha||2012||It is decided to extend the Kyoto Protocol until 2020. Countries like the US, China, Russia and Canada did not support the extension.|
|COP20||Lima||2014||For the first time, all countries agree to develop and share their commitment to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.|
|COP21||Paris||2015||After 20 years of negotiations, the Paris Agreement was unanimously adopted to keep global warming below 2 ºC above pre-industrial and continue efforts to limit it to 1.5 ºC.|
|COP22||Marrakesh||2016||Against all expectations, the Paris Agreement came into force a few days before the Summit, after being ratified by most nations. The result of the negotiations at this meeting was encapsulated in three documents: the Marrakesh Action Proclamation, a strong political message supporting the Paris Agreement at a time when the change in the White House was generating uncertainty; the Marrakesh Partnership to strengthen climate collaboration for the period up to 2020, and; the first meeting of the CMA, the decision-making body for the Paris Agreement|
|COP23||Bonn||2017||At this Climate Summit, progress was made on the Rulebook to detail how the Paris Agreement will work in practice (Paris Rulebook), with the aim of concluding it in 2018. Facilitative Dialogues, known as the Talanoa Dialogue, were also created, a process allowing countries to share experiences and good practices in order to achieve the Agreement objectives. The Talanoa Dialogue Platform was launched to promote the participation and dialogue of local and indigenous communities. A Gender Action Plan was adopted to ensure the role of women in decision-making related to climate change.|
|COP24||Katowice||2018||Little over two months before the Summit began, the IPCC published its report analyzing the impacts of a 1.5°C global temperature increase, which focused debate on a need for greater urgency in reducing polluting emissions. Nevertheless, although this was mentioned, it was not considered to be a guide for action in the texts agreed. Meanwhile, the Talanoa Dialogue ended, the next step being to review the 2020 climate plans to align them with the set objective of limiting global warming. Finally, one of the most important articles of the negotiation was left unresolved: Article 6 permitting the development of carbon markets.|
- According to the UNFCCC, COP26 will work towards four goals:
- Secure global net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
- The UK has already committed to bringing 78% emission reductions by 2035 and is on the road to net-zero by 2050.
- India has also taken important steps with its 450 giga Watt renewables target and national hydrogen mission.
- Different countries will have different pathways, and we recognise the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.”
- The UNFCCC recommends that countries ‘accelerate the phase-out of coal, curtail deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles and encourage investment in renewables’ to meet this goal.
- What India could do to reach its targets:
- It is time for India to update its Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs. (NDCs detail the various efforts taken by each country to reduce the national emissions)
- Sector by sector plans are needed to bring about development. We need to decarbonise the electricity, transport sector and start looking at carbon per passenger mile.
- Aggressively figure out how to transition our coal sector
- India also needs to ramp up the legal and institutional framework of climate change.
- Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
- Countries will work together to ‘protect and restore ecosystems and build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives.’
- Mobilise finance
- “To deliver on our first two goals, developed countries must make good on their promise to mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance per year by 2020,” notes the UNFCCC.
- Work together to deliver
- Another important task at the COP26 is to ‘finalise the Paris Rulebook’. Leaders will work together to frame a list of detailed rules that will help fulfil the Paris Agreement.
Subject – Economy
Context – Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “PM GatiShakti — National Master Plan”
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the “PM GatiShakti — National Master Plan” for infrastructure development aimed at boosting multimodal connectivity and driving down logistics costs.
- PM GatiShakti is a digital platform that connects 16 ministries — including Roads and Highways, Railways, Shipping, Petroleum and Gas, Power, Telecom, Shipping, and Aviation — with a view to ensuring holistic planning and execution of infrastructure projects.
- The portal will offer 200 layers of geospatial data, including on existing infrastructure such as roads, highways, railways, and toll plazas, as well as geographic information about forests, rivers and district boundaries to aid in planning and obtaining clearances.
- The portal will also allow various government departments to track, in real time and at one centralised place, the progress of various projects, especially those with multi-sectoral and multi-regional impact.
- The objective is to ensure that each and every department now have visibility of each other’s activities providing critical data while planning and execution of projects in a comprehensive manner.
- Through this, different departments will be able to prioritise their projects through cross–sectoral interactions.
- The government expects the platform to enable various government departments to synchronise their efforts into a multi-modal network.
- It will also offer satellite imagery for monitoring of projects.
- It is also expected to help state governments give commitments to investors regarding timeframes for the creation of infrastructure.
- The portal would help states avoid both cost and time overruns, and allow them to provide the benefit of valuable infrastructure to their residents sooner.
How will the platform help bring down logistics costs?
- Studies estimate that logistics costs in India are about 13-14% of GDP as against about 7-8% of GDP in developed economies. High logistics costs impact cost structures within the economy, and also make it more expensive for exporters to ship merchandise to buyers.
- By incorporating infrastructure schemes under various ministries and state governments, including the Bharatmala and inland waterways schemes, and economic zones such as textile and pharmaceutical clusters and electronics parks, the GatiShakti platform aims to boosting last-mile connectivity and bringing down logistics costs with integrated planning and reducing implementation overlaps.
- Currently, a number of economic zones and industrial parks are not able to reach their full productive potential due to inefficient multi-modal connectivity.
How will progress under the National Master Plan be monitored?
- The National Master Plan has set targets for all infrastructure ministries. India is targeting an increase in the total cargo handled at Indian ports to 1,759 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) by 2024-25, up from 1,282 MTPA in 2020 — as well as increasing cargo movement on national waterways to 95 million tonnes from about 74 million tonnes in the same period.
- The PM said the government was aiming at adding over 200 airports, helipads, and water aerodromes over the next 4-5 years beside nearly doubling the existing natural gas pipeline network, which is about 19,000 km.
- A project monitoring group under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) will monitor the progress of key projects in real time, and report any inter-ministerial issues to an empowered group of ministers, who will then aim to resolve these.
How will this impact coordination between ministries for projects?
- Currently, any inter-ministerial issues that arise relating to a project are addressed in regular meetings of infrastructure-related ministries. These issues are raised in advance, and then taken up.
- Goyal said that through the PM PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation) portal, many issues were resolved even prior to such meetings.
- He said the GatiShakti portal would help reduce the human intervention required as ministries will be in constant touch, and projects will be reviewed by the project monitoring group in real time.
- The portal will also highlight all the clearances any new project would need, based on its location — and allow stakeholders to apply for these clearances from the relevant authority directly on the portal.
Subject – Disaster Management
Context – Heavy Rain and Landslides Over Southern Kerala
- A low pressure system developed in the east-central Arabian Sea on October 14. This system moved closer to Kerala coast and triggered severe weather.
- This year, the southwest monsoon withdrawal has been significantly delayed. It has withdrawn completely from west, north, central and eastern India regions, but continues to remain active in the southern peninsula. With the withdrawal entering the peninsula regions, southern states, including Kerala, have reported thunderstorms for over a week now.
- But the rainfall during the last four days is mainly a localised phenomenon triggered due to the low-pressure system formed in the Arabian Sea.
- While rainfall is common in October in Kerala, associated with the Northeast monsoon, such intense and localised spells are not frequent. This season, the onset of the northeast monsoon is unlikely till next week.
To know about landslides, please click here.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Antibodies produced during dengue lead to massive destruction of platelets: Doctor
- In dengue, the drop in platelet count is because of the following reasons:
- # Platelet count in dengue decreases as it suppresses bone marrow, which is the platelet-producing area.
- # Platelet count in dengue decreases because of blood cells affected by the disease.
- # Antibodies that are produced during this period lead to massive destruction of platelets in dengue.
- What is a normal platelet count in a body?
- In the normal human body, the platelet count in dengue ranges from 1.5 lakh to 4 lakh.
- How does a drop in platelet count in cases of dengue manifest? What are the complications?
- Patient can be asymptomatic or may have bleeding manifestations, such as:
- # Bleeding from gums or nose
- # Blood in urine, stools or vomit
- # Bleeding under the skin, which might look like bruising
- # Major internal organ bleeds in few cases.
- When is a platelet transfusion required?
- In cases where platelets drop to below 10,000, platelet transfusion is required but in case of bleeding manifestations, platelet transfusions can even be given at more than the cut-off value of 10,000 too.
- There are many requests for donation of platelets. Who can donate platelets? And what are the key points to be kept in mind, considering platelets last only for five days?
- Donor eligibility criteria are the same for both platelet and whole blood donors.
- Any healthy adult who clears the screening process of the blood bank for platelet donation can donate the platelets. Do eat a regular meal and drink plenty of fluids one to two hours before donating platelets.
- Do not take aspirin or products containing aspirin for at least 72 hours before platelet donation.
- Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquitoes within the genus Aedes.
- Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle, and joint pain, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles.
- There are four types of dengue strains, and type II and IV are considered to be more severe and normally require hospitalisation.
- According to experts, the aedes mosquito breeds in clean stagnant water.
- Meanwhile, cases of malaria, chikungunya and viral fever are also rampant during monsoon.
- Patient can be asymptomatic or may have bleeding manifestations, such as:
Subject – Economy
Context – Supply of Bitcoins limited to 21 million
- Bitcoin, like gold, cannot be mined forever. Its supply is capped at 21 million. Thebitcoin mining processprovides bitcoin as reward,but the size is decreased periodically to controlthe circulation of new tokens.
- Less than 3 million Bitcoins are yet to be introduced into circulation.
- However, the final Bitcoin is unlikely to be mineduntil around the year 2140, if theBitcoin network protocol remains unchanged.
To know about bitcoins, please click here.
Subject – Environment
Context – A gecko named Jackie Chan in the Western Ghats
- A new revision of Cnemaspis geckos (day gecko) in the Western Ghats has described 12 new species, including ones named, among others, after Jackie Chan and dragons from Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. Of the 12 species, 10 were found in southern Western Ghats.
- The paper, ‘Diversifying on the Ark: multiple new endemic lineages of dwarf geckos from the Western Ghats provide insights into the systematics and biogeography of South Asian Cnemaspis (Reptilia: Squamata)’.
- At present, there are 85 known species within SA, although the number continues to increase rapidly with focused surveys and rigorous taxonomic work,” the paper says, adding however that most studies lack sufficient sampling in the Western Ghats (WG), where the genus has its greatest diversity.
- Historically, species have been described on the basis of morphology for centuries. “However, in the last couple of decades, genetic data has shown that morphology might not tell the whole story i.e., some species might be deeply genetically separated without looking any different from each other. Hence, today we try and use a combination of genetic data, geographical separation and morphological distinctiveness to determine whether something is a new species.”
- “Typically, species are named for a morphological character, a geographical location or after someone well known in the field (such as Cnemaspiswallaceii, after Alfred Russel Wallace). However, sometimes its also fun to name them after cultural or musical icons.
- The researchers have pointed out that despite being one of the world’s “hottest biodiversity hotspots”, the Western Ghats have undergone substantial habitat loss and degradation due to changes in landuse patterns, and it has been suggested that significant parts of it will be urbanised by 2030 due to population expansion and development.
Subject – Geography
Context – IMD issues yellow alert for 7 districts in Kerala
To know about IMD alerts, please click here.
To know about IMD, please click here.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – Carl Vinson, a floating city on sea
- USS Carl Vinson is Nimitz-class super carrier, can take away one’s breath.
- Not only the size of the ship, but the flurry of activity, its fire power, its fighter jets on board and the enthusiasm of the crew on board, is worth a take.
- The nuclear-powered super carrier was here off Visakhapatnam coast in Bay of Bengal, as the lead ship for the just concluded naval exercise Malabar-2021, along with other assets from the US Navy and the navies of India, Japan and Australia.
- The 1.13 lakh-tonne behemoth from the US Pacific fleet is part of the Carrier Strike Group One and its crew say it is a floating city at sea
- at, as the ship carries about 5,000 crew members.
- The ship has a huge desalination plant to take care of its water needs and usage of plastic is minimal. To take care of the plastic, it has a recycling plant.
- The ship has 10 floors and a few of them act as hangars for its assortment of aircraft.
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – NSG to offer anti-drone cover in J&K
- The National Security Guard (NSG), the counterterrorism commando force, has been deployed at the Indian Air Force (IAF) stations in Srinagar and Jammu to provide anti-drone security cover to these vital installations.
- The NSG chief said the federal counterterrorist and counter-hijack commando force was enhancing its “counterterrorism profile” and preparing itself to meet emerging security challenges. He was speaking at the 37th Raising Day celebrations of the force, also known as the “black cats”.
The National Security Guard (NSG)
- The NSG is a counter-terrorism unit that formally came into existence in 1986 by an act of Parliament- ‘National Security Guard Act, 1986’.
- The idea behind raising such force came in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star (an Indian military action carried out to remove militant religious leader from the Golden Temple, Amritsar) in 1984, Akshardham Temple attack and the assassination of former PM Indira Gandhi, for ‘combating terrorist activities with a view to protect states against internal disturbances.’
- It operates under the Ministry of Home Affairs and is a task-oriented force that has two complementary elements in the form of:
- Special Action Group (SAG) comprising of the Army personnel- is the main offensive or the strike wing of the NSG, and
- Special Ranger Groups (SRG) comprising of personnel drawn from the Central Armed Police Forces/State Police Forces. They generally handle VIP securities.
- The head of NSG- designated as Director General (DG), is selected and appointed by the Minister of Home Affairs.
- The motto of ‘Sarvatra, Sarvottam, Suraksha’ has always been upheld by it with a focus on its basic philosophy of swift and speedy strike and immediate withdrawal from the theatre of action.
- National Security Guard has been given the specific role to handle all facets of terrorism in any part of the country as a Federal Contingency Force.
- The NSG is trained to conduct counter-terrorist task including counter hijacking tasks on land, sea, and air; Bomb disposal (search, detection, and neutralization of IEDs), Post Blast Investigation (PBI), and Hostage Rescue missions.
- The NSG personnel are often referred to in the media as Black Cat Commandos because of the black outfit and black cat insignia worn on their uniform.
- Operations undertaken:
- Operation Black Thunder (Golden Temple, Amritsar, 1986 & 1988)
- Operation Ashwamedh (Indian Airlines Flight-IC427 hijacking, India, 1993)
- Operation Thunderbolt or Vajra Shakti (Akshardham Temple attack, Gujarat, 2002)
- Operation Black Tornado (Mumbai Blasts, 2008)
- There is no direct recruitment to the NSG. Personnel from the army/police forces serve in the NSG on deputation.
- NSG is headed by a Director-General who is generally drawn from the Indian Police Service.
- The major functions of the NSG are:
- Counter hijacking tasks on land, air and sea
- Post blast investigation
- Bomb disposal (search, detection & neutralisation of IEDs)
- VIP security
- Hostage rescue missions
Subject – Defence and Security
Context – Army Air Defence steps up procurement
- After several delays in its modernisation process, the Army Air Defence (AD) is looking at major progress in the next few months in terms of deals and trials.
- These include additional indigenous Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, the underdevelopment medium range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) and Igla-S very short range air defence (VSHORAD) systems from Russia, according to defence officials.
- The Army had contracted a small number of Igla-S systems from Russia under emergency procurement through the Vice-Chiefs emergency financial powers and deliveries were expected soon.
- Akash is the indigenously designed and developed medium-range SAM system with a range of 25 km.
- In addition, the Army variant of the MRSAM, being jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), is nearing induction with the final stage of trials scheduled to be held in the next few months.
- Air defence functions at three levels – gun/missile system, medium range and high range.
- Within this, the AD guns are of two types: AD gun missile system and the AD self-propelled guns.
- In the medium segment, it has the indigenous Akash SAM, while MRSAM fits in the high range(engage targets up to a range of 70 km).
Subject – Governance
Context – Detention of HIV+sex worker upheld
- A Mumbai court recently upheld a magistrate court order to detain a sex worker for two years as she was HIV-positive, and setting her free was likely to “pose danger to the society”.
- On August 20, the lower court directed the detention of the woman for two years under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act.
- The court directed the detention of the victim as she was found to be infected with HIV, observing that there was a possibility that the woman will transmit the virus through sexual intercourse
Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956
- The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act or ITPA is a 1986 amendment of legislation passed in 1956 as a result of the signing by India of the United Nations’ declaration in 1950 in New York on the suppression of trafficking – International Convention for the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of others.
- The act, then called the All India Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act (SITA), was amended to the current law. The laws were intended as a means of limiting and eventually abolishing prostitution in India by gradually criminalising various aspects of sex work.
- The act states the illegality of prostitution and the punishment for owning any such related establishment
- Any person involved in any phase of the chain activities like recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring, or receiving of people for the purpose of prostitution is also liable to be punished
- If a person is found guilty of involving a child in any such activity, he/she is punishable by law and may be imprisoned for seven or more years.
Subject – Governance
Context – Industry seeks role in framing regulations for medical devices
- The proposed drugs, cosmetics and medical devices Bill should align with the Medical Devices Rules (MDR), 2017, experts have said.
- Medical devices were governed by the MDR 2017, which were meticulously developed by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) after extensive consultations with stakeholders.
- These rules also follow the World Health Organisation Regulatory Framework for Medical Devices (including in vitro diagnostics) and adhere to the step-wise approach to regulating medical devices based on guidance documents developed by the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF) and the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF).
- The harmonised regulations also enable Indian manufacturers to get greater acceptability of their products in global markets, furthering the Make in India objective of the Government and keeping India aligned to global supply chains.
Medical Devices Rules, 2017
- The industry manufacturing medical devices in India was governed under the stringent laws of The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, up until recently, when the government decided to heed to the industry’s plea for a separate regulation.
- The defect in the prior regulation was that the medical devices listed in the Schedule C of The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, was governed being considered same as the drug manufactures in India.
- This defect was considered as a major turnoff by the medical device manufacturers who believed strongly that medical devices be considered separate from the drugs.
- The Medical Devices Rules aim to ease the rules regarding medical devices, including but not limited to obtaining licenses, clinical trials etc.
- The Medical Devices Rules notified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been formulated to be in conformity with the Global Harmonisation Task Force framework and the international practices.
- The Medical Devices Rules 2017 has been formulated with an aim to simplify the rules regarding medical devices in India. In light of the same aim, the rules have provided for self-assessment/ self-certification of compliance for manufacturers belonging to Class A of categories prescribed under Medical Devices Rules 2017.
Medical Devices (Amendment) Rules, 2020
- The Medical Devices (Amendment) Rules, 2020, are applicable to devices “intended for internal or external use in the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of disease or disorder in human beings or animals” and
- require online registration of these devices “with the Central Licensing Authority through an identified online portal established by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for this purpose”.
- Every medical device, either manufactured in India or imported, will have to have quality assurance before they can be sold anywhere in the country.
- Manufacturer shall mention the registration number on the label of the medical device.
What are the items covered under the Medical Device Rules?
- Items covered includes: hypodermic syringes and needles, cardiac stents, perfusion sets, catheters, orthopaedic implants, bone cements, lenses, sutures, internal prosthetic replacements etc.and will have to comply starting April.
What are the penal provisions under Indian law?
- Manufacture or sale of substandard items is punishable with imprisonment of at least 10 years, which may extend to imprisonment for life.
- There is also a provision for fine that will “not be less than Rs 10 lakh rupees or three times value of the confiscated items”.
Subject – Governance
Context – ‘Shift focus to demand management of water’
- NWP was formulated to govern the planning and development of water resources and their optimum utilisation. The first NWP was adopted in September, 1987. It was reviewed and updated in 2002 and later in 2012.
- NITI Aayog has said that India is facing its first water crisis and the demand for potable water may outstrip supply by the year 2030 if precautionary steps are not taken.
Comparison of provisions of national water policies of 1987, 2002 and 2012
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – ‘Virus less likely to develop resistance to molnupiravir’
- The anti-viral drug molnupiravir can reduce risk of hospitalisation or death by 50% in non-hospitalised adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease. That molnupiravir is an oral drug is a major advantage in treating patients as it would not require hospitalisation.
- Molnupiravir is a pro-drug, which means that it needs to undergo processing in the body to become active. It is metabolised to a ribonucleosideanalog, which is essentially a sugar molecule linked to a molecule that resembles a nucleic acid.
- Nucleic acids are needed to make RNA, and if molnupiravir is used, the viral enzyme instead of using real cytidine or uridine uses a molecule that is generated by metabolism of molnupiravir called NHC-TP.
- The virus has a proof-reading mechanism but the viral ex-nuclease which is responsible for removing mistakes does not recognize NHC-TP as an error, so that when the viral RNA polymerase is making copies of RNA that contains molnupiravir, then it randomly replaces cytidine or uridine. This causes more mutations that can be survived by the virus or it becomes unable to replicate — this is called lethal mutagenesis or error catastrophe
- The drug has performed well against influenza in animal studies and was set to go into phase-1 trials in 2020. It has also worked well against Ebola and Chikungunya.
- If multiple antivirals are available then using a combination that targets different steps in the replication of the virus is the best way to delay the development of resistance. Both remdesivir and molnupiravir target the same enzyme but in different ways
To know more about Molnupiravir, please click here.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – IIT Kanpur team identifies a novel target to treat prostate cancer
- Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, have discovered that a particular gene (DLX1) which plays an important role in the development of jaws, skeleton, and interneurons in the brain has an important role to play in the growth and development of prostate cancer.
- The DLX1 protein is found at elevated levels in prostate cancer patients, the reason why the DLX1 protein has been used as a urine-based biomarker.
- DLX1 protein, which is expressed at higher levels in the prostate cancer cells, has a huge role in the growth and development of the tumour and the spread of the cancer to other organs in the body (metastasis).
- When the team genetically ablated the DLX1 gene that produces the protein, the ability of cancer cells to grow, develop and spread to other parts of the body was compromised.
- Preclinical mice studies showed that administering Bromodomain and extra terminal or BET inhibitors alone or in combination with anti-androgen drugs resulted in about 70% reduction in tumour burden along with diminished distant metastases
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Zeolite oxygen concentrators: chemistry in three dimensions
- Zeolites are highly porous, 3-D meshes of silica and alumina. In nature, they occur where volcanic outflows have met water. Synthetic zeolites have proven to be a big and low-cost boon.
- At the heart of oxygen concentrator technology are synthetic frameworks of silica and alumina with nanometre-size pores that are rigid and inflexible. Beads of one such material, zeolite 13X, about a millimetre in diameter, are packed into two cylindrical columns in an oxygen concentrator.
- The chemistry here is tailored to the task of separating oxygen from nitrogen in air. Being highly porous, zeolite beads have a surface area of about 500 square meters per gram.
- Interaction between the negatively charged zeolite and the asymmetric nucleus (quadrupole moment) of nitrogen causes it to be preferentially adsorbed on the surface of the zeolite.
- Oxygen remains free, and is thus enriched. Air has 78% nitrogen, 20.9% oxygen and smaller quantities of argon, carbon dioxide, etc. Once nitrogen is under arrest, what flows out from the column is 90%¬plus oxygen. After this, lowering the pressure in the column releases the nitrogen, which is flushed out, and the cycle is repeated with fresh air.