Daily Prelims Notes 18 July 2021
- July 18, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
18 July 2021
Table Of Contents
- AI tool developed to study cancer-causing mutations
- Rare siege of Arctic lightning zaps ice north of Alaska
- Odisha Lokayukta sends notice to officials over alleged encroachment by institute
- Congress demands probe after CAG flags irregularities in BharatNet project
- Indian Navy receives first two 24 MH-60R helicopters from US
- Live-streaming court proceedings crucial for dissemination of information: CJI
- Forex reserves
- Floods in Germany
- Tipu Sultan
- Deep fake
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Researchers at IIT Madras have developed an AI tool called NBDriver (neighborhood driver) for use in analyzing cancer-causing mutations in cells.
- The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras researchers have formulated an artificial intelligence-based mathematical model.
- The AI algorithm will spot cancer-causing changes in cells.
- This algorithm studies DNA structures to characterize the genetic changes responsible for cancer progression, which are responsible for causing cancer.
- Using simple AI techniques, the researchers developed a new prediction algorithm, NBDriver, and tested its performance on several open-source cancer mutation datasets.
- NBDriver (NEIGHBORHOOD Driver) is a tool used to differentiate between driver and passenger mutations using features derived from the neighborhood sequences of somatic mutations.
Context: The National Weather Service in Fairbanks, Alaska, confirmed early Tuesday that a freak Arctic thunderstorm had occurred Monday evening, producing between 100 and 200 lightning strikes as an exceptional pulse of heat visited Alaska’s North Slope.
- Thunderstorms in Alaska are a relatively common occurrence, flaring up annually over the remote wildness that makes up the North Slope. Some produce lightning strikes that ignite wildfires and require assistance flown in from other states.
- What made Monday’s storms so unusual, however, is just how far north the storms ventured — well north of Prudhoe Bay, directly over sea ice. The Weather Service in Fairbanks estimates that thunderstorms like that may develop so far north only once or twice every decade.
- Typically, the air over the Arctic Ocean, especially when the water is covered with ice, lacks the convective heat needed to generate lightning storms.
- But as climate change warms the Arctic faster than the rest of the world, that’s changing, scientists say.
- These electrical storms threaten boreal forests fringing the Arctic, as they spark fires in remote regions already baking under the round-the-clock summer sun.
Context: The Odisha Lokayukta has issued notices to the State Chief Secretary and Director of Estate in connection with an alleged encroachment of 12 acres of prime land by the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Training.
- The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption authority constituted at the state level.
- It investigates allegations of corruption and mal-administration against public servants and is tasked with speedy redressal of public grievances.
- The origin of the Lokayukta can be traced to the Ombudsmen in Scandinavian countries.
- The Administrative Reforms Commission, (1966-70), had recommended the creation of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in the states.
- The Lokayukta is created as a statutory authority under Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013to enable it to discharge its functions independently and impartially.
- The lokayukta and upalokayukta are appointed by the governor of the state. While appointing, the governor in most of the states consults (a) the chief justice of the state high court, and (b) the leader of Opposition in the state legislative assembly.
- Judicial qualifications are prescribed for the lokayukta in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Karnataka and Assam. But no specific qualifications are prescribed in the states of Bihar, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
- In most of the states, the term of office fixed for lokayukta is of 5 years duration or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier. He is not eligible for reappointment for a second term.
- The recommendations made by the lokayukta are only advisory and not binding on the state government.
Context: Flagging a preliminary report by the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG), the Congress on Saturday claimed that large scale corruption is the primary reason for shunting out Ravi Shankar Prasad from the Ministry.
- BharatNet Project was originally launched in 2011 as the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) and renamed as Bharat-Net in 2015.
- It seeks to provide connectivity to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) through optical fiber.
- It is a flagship mission implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL).
- The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India.
The larger vision of the project is:
- To establish a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis.
- To provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions.
- To realize the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.
- The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.
- The entire project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.
Context: The United States Navy has handed over the first two Sikorsky MH-60R multi-role helicopters to the Indian Navy at Naval Air Station in North Island, San Diego on Friday.
- The Indian Navy is procuring 24 MH-60R Multi Role Helicopters (MRH) manufactured by Lockheed Martin under foreign military sales from the US government at an estimated cost of $2.4 billion.
MH-60 Romeo helicopters
- The incoming 24 multirole MH-60 Romeo helicopters are expected to boost the Indian Navy’s efforts to expand its role in the Indian Ocean Region.
- The MH-60 Romeo Seahawk, made by Defence giant Lockheed Martin, is one of the most advanced naval helicopters in the world, used by the US Navy among others.
- It is the most capable and mature Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) multi-mission helicopter available in the world today, the makers say.
- MH-60 Romeo Seahawks have equipped with anti-submarine Mark 54 torpedoes and Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, along with precision-kill rockets.
- It also has an advanced system for passive detection, location, and identification of emitters. It can not only track and hunt ships but is also used by the US Navy as an anti-submarine weapon.
Context: Formalising live-streaming of court proceedings is crucial for dissemination of information. The spread of information is sacrosanct to free speech, Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana said.
- Recently, the Supreme Court has released the Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings.
- The Rules are part of the National Policy and Action Plan for implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the judiciary.
- The Supreme Court inSwapnilTripathi v Supreme Court of India (2018) had ruled in favour of opening up the apex court through live-streaming.
- It held that the live streaming proceedings are part of the right to access justice under Article 21
Key features of the Draft Rules
- All proceedings in high courts can be telecast except for cases relating to matrimonial disputes, gender-based violence, those involving minors.
- The final decision to allow the Live-streaming of the Proceedings or any portion thereof will be of the Bench.
- Court proceedings can be archived for six months.
- The rules also prohibit recording or sharing the telecast on media platforms, including social media and messaging platforms, unless authorised by the court.
- Justice delivery system will become affordable, transparent, speedy and accountable by limiting the paper filings.
- It can be time saving
- Lack of technical manpower in courts and awareness
- Cyber security threat.
- Issues of privacy may arise.
- Infrastructure, especially the internet connectivity is also a big challenge
Subject: International Affairs
Context: APEC leaders pledge to focus on COVID-19 vaccines efforts to fight pandemic
- Leaders of the Asia-Pacific trade group APEC, have pledged to work to expand sharing and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines to fight the global pandemic.
- They would encourage the voluntary transfer of vaccine production technologies on mutually agreed terms as the region prepared for future health shocks.
- New Zealand is the revolving host of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation now.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation,
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific.
- APEC’s 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.
- APEC ensures that goods, services, investment and people move easily across borders. Members facilitate this trade through faster customs procedures at borders; more favorable business climates behind the border; and aligning regulations and standards across the region
- India is not a Member ( Not allowed join as India does not border the Pacific Ocean, which all current members do)
- India was invited to be an observer for the first time in November 2011.
- Member Nations: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.
- Its 21 member economies are home to around 2.8 billion people and represented approximately 59% of world GDP and 49% of world trade in 2015.
Context: The country’s forex reserves jumped substantially by $5.942 billion to touch a life-time high of $507.644 billion in the week to June 12, helped by a significant jump in foreign currency assets (FCA), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed.
- The foreign exchange reserves had crossed the half-a-trillion mark for the first time, after it surged by a massive $8.22 billion and reached $501.703 billion
- The foreign currency assets, a major component of the overall reserves, rose by $5.106 billion to $468.737 billion. .
- The gold reserves in the reporting week rose by $821 million to $33.173 billion
- The country’s reserve position with the IMF also rose by $3 million to $4.280 billion during the reporting week, the data showed.
- The increase in foreign exchange reserves is due to higher capital inflows and also due to the narrowing current account deficit as trade activities have come to a standstill due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19.
Advantages on rising forex,
- give a lot of comfort to the government and the RBI in managing India’s external and internal financial issues at a time when economic
- It’s a big cushion in the event of any crisis on the economic front and enough to cover the import bill of the country for a year.
- The rising reserves have also helped the rupee to strengthen against the dollar. Reserves provide a level of confidence to markets that a country can meet its external obligations, demonstrate the backing of domestic currency by external assets, assist the government in meeting its foreign exchange needs and external debt obligations and maintain a reserve for national disasters or emergencies.
- A lot of strength as they now cover one year of import expenditure.
Context: Over a hundred people have died and several people remain missing as a result of flooding in Germany caused by unprecedented rainfall, which is being referred to as the worst such event that the country has witnessed in nearly a century.
Floods in Germany caused by
- A severe storm and continuous rains that caused rivers and streams to swell up and flood the towns and cities located alongside the banks of the river Ahr in Germany.
- When the soil and the water bodies were no longer able to absorb the excess water, it spilled out wreaking havoc in nearby areas and causing damage to buildings, infrastructure, the environment and people’s belongings.
- Scientists in Germany have dubbed the low-pressure weather system that caused the weather event “Bernd” devastating floods that were seen in the last few days have never been seen before. Germany floods
- Flash floods are characterised by very fast rise and recession of flow of small volume and high discharge, which causes high damages because of suddenness. This occurs in hilly and not too hilly regions and sloping lands where heavy rainfall and thunderstorms or cloudbursts are common.
- A flood caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than 6 hours. Flash floods are usually characterized by raging torrents after heavy rains that rip through river beds, urban streets, or mountain canyons sweeping everything before them. They can occur within minutes or a few hours of excessive rainfall. They can also occur even if no rain has fallen, for instance after a levee or dam has failed, or after a sudden release of water by a debris or ice jam.
- A flash flood is a rapid inundation of geomorphically low-lying areas
Causes of Flash floods
- A flash flood is a rapid inundation of geomorphically low-lying areas: washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or meltwater from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields.
- However, floods are not always caused by heavy rainfall. Flash Floods can be caused by a number of things, but is most often due to extremely heavy rainfall from thunderstorms.
- Flash Floods can occur due to Dam or Levee Breaks, and/or Mudslides (Debris Flow).
- In areas on or near volcanoes, flash floods have also occurred after eruptions, when glaciers have been melted by the intense heat.
- The intensity of the rainfall, the location and distribution of the rainfall, the land use and topography, vegetation types and growth/density, soil type, and soil water-content all determine just how quickly the Flash Flooding may occur, and influence where it may occur
Context: Nearly 1,000 km from where he once ruled, Mysore King Tipu Sultan is at the centre of controversy in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation over attempts to name a garden after him in Govandi, a suburb in Eastern Mumbai. A look at the genesis of the controversy and more.
- Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, was the Indian ruler who resisted the East India Company’s conquest of southern India.
- He tried to build up an alliance to drive the British – ‘those oppressors of the human race’ – out of India and intrigued with the French in Paris and Mauritiusv
- The governor-general, Lord Mornington (later the marquess of Wellesley), launched the fourth Anglo Mysore War. Seringapatam (now Srirangapatna), Tippu’s capital, was stormed by British-led forces on May 4, 1799, and Tippu died leading his troops in the breach
Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-1784)
- Warren Hastings attacked, Haider Ali.
- Tipu Sultan signed Treaty of Mangalore in March 1784 which ended the second Anglo-Mysore war.
Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789-1792)
- The third war was fought between Tipu Sultan, and British East Indian Company and ended in Tipu’s defeat. In this war, Marathas and Nizam aided the British and Cornwallis captured Bangalore
- . The war ended by signing of Treaty of Seringapatna, Tipu ceded half of his territories and two of his son’s as a hostage of war.
Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799)
- In Fourth War 1799, the British army led by Lord Wellesley attacked and defeated Tipu Sultan.
Subject: Science and Tech
Context: In a new documentary, Roadrunner, about the life and tragic death of Anthony Bourdain, there are a few lines of dialogue in Bourdain’s voice that he might not have ever said out loud.
Deep fake technology can seamlessly stitch anyone in the world into a video or photo they never actually participated in. Deep fake technologies new automatic computer-graphics or machine-learning systems can synthesize images and videos much more quickly.
Deep fake making,
- Deep fake video of someone, a creator would first train a neural network on many hours of real video footage of the person to give it a realistic “understanding” of what he or she looks like from many angles and under different lighting.
- They’d combine the trained network with computer-graphics techniques to superimpose a copy of the person onto a different actor.
- The addition of AI makes the process faster than it ever would have been before, it still takes time for this process to yield a believable composite that places a person into an entirely fictional situation
- AI encoder runs several face shots of two persons. Then, the encoder learns of similarities in the faces and compresses the images.
The rise of ‘deep-fakes’ and threats to truth
- As the faces are different, one AI decoder picks the first person’s face, and another decoder picks the second person’s face. Then, the encoded images are fed into the “wrong” decoder to perform the face swap. This process is done on every frame to make a convincing video.
- In certain other cases, the AI is trained to create new images and videos from scratch using Generative Adversarial Network (GAN).
- GAN, with the help of Machine Learning, makes two neural networks to contest against each other in a game with a given training set. This helps generate new data and output related to the training set.
- A class of deep-learning algorithms called generative adversarial networks (GANs) will be the main engine of deep fakes development in the future. GAN-generated faces are near-impossible to tell from real faces.
- Destructive effect on the social fabric,
- Non-consensual pornographic deep fakes other problematic forms.
- Deep fakes may well enable bullying