Daily Prelims Notes 20 February 2021
- February 20, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
20 February 2021
All 6 Prelims qualified
4 CSE Mains qualified
If I can do it, you can too
Table Of Contents
- Australia’s News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code Bill 2020
- Garden tourism
- Project MAQUID
- Mercury rising but Delhi continues to see dense fog
- Alaknanda river’s clear green blue giving way to muddiness
- South African mutant variation of Corona virus
Subject: International events
Context: The Australian PM reached out to Indian PM in a bid to form a coalition against Big tech vs issue of their compensation to the news platforms.
- A faceoff between the state and global tech giants in Australia over compensation for sharing news content from media companies on their platforms saw Australian govt reaching out to countries like India, Canada, France, UK to build a global coalition against misuse of dominant position by global giants.
- Under the proposed law a bargaining code is envisaged that aims to force Google and Facebook to compensate media companies for using their content.
- While the Google has agreed out to pay the news organizations (already doing in countries like France under different model), the Facebook has decided to black out news content in the country in Australia.
- The Google launched the News Showcase platform that offers news that Google has paid for through its own content agreements with publishers.
Context: Delhi Tourism is organising first biggest public event organised in the city post pandemic.
- This year the theme was to lay out gardens on the lines of Mughal Garden in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
- Garden tourism is a type of niche tourism involving visits or travel to botanical gardens and places which are significant in the history of gardening.
- Garden tourists often travel individually in countries with which they are familiar but often prefer to join organized garden tours in countries where they might experience difficulties with language, travel or finding accommodation in the vicinity of the garden.
- Taj Mahal in Agra is also famous world-wide for garden tourism.
- The list of famous gardens that attract tourists includes: Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Stourhead in England, Giverny and Versailles and other castle gardens such as the castle of Villandry in France, Keukenhof in the Netherlands, Villa d’Este and Villa Lante in Italy, Alhambra in Spain, Longwood Gardens and Filoli in the United States and Taj Mahal in India.
Context: Schools and colleges have the highest concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 compared to other buildings such as offices, restaurants and malls was the finding of the project undertaken to measure indoor air quality in such public places in Delhi.
- A survey of indoor air quality in 37 buildings of the city, conducted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, has revealed that schools and colleges have the highest concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 compared to other buildings such as offices, restaurants and malls.
- The overall PM 10 and PM 2.0 were 2 and half times above the ambient air quality set by the CPCB.
- CO2 levels are also recorded high in hospitals, colleges, offices as well as in restaurants due to higher occupancy and inadequate ventilation.
- The survey reported schools have the worst I/O (indoor/outdoor) ratio of all surveyed buildings, meaning it had more indoor sources of pollution as compared to outdoors.
- The use of chalkboards is considered primary source of indoor pollution in school.
- Poor ventilation after closing of doors and windows leads to rise in indoor pollution at night.
About Project MAQUID
- Project MAQUID (Monitoring of Air Quality in Urban Indoors in Delhi) was conducted in schools, colleges, hospitals, shopping malls, restaurants, offices and one cinema hall during the peak pollution period from October 15, 2019, to January 30, 2020
- It was undertaken by the Centre of Excellence for Research on Clean Air (CERCA), IIT-Delhi; Society for Indoor Environment (SIE); and Kaiterra, an air quality instrument company.
- The indoor air pollutants studied include PM 10, PM 2.5, TVOC (total volatile organic compounds) along with comfort parameters (temperature, relative humidity and CO2 concentrations).
Context: Dense fog has hit Delhi several times over the past 10 days, in what meteorologists are calling a “unique” event as in 2nd and 3rd week of februray generally don’t see fog.
Factors for this event as per IMD:
- Lack of western disturbances: It led to an anti-cyclone high pressure belt. Anti-cyclone causes stable boundary layer and inversion and calm winds at lower levels.
- Moist easterly winds brought more moisture in Delhi’s air, a pre-requisite for fog (Usually at this time dry wind blows in from the west or northwest region)
- Low wind speed
- An easterly system over central India
- High Pollution levels
- Fog, cloud of small water droplets that is near ground level and sufficiently dense to reduce horizontal visibility to less than 1,000 metres.
- Under similar conditions similar conditions, but with visibility greater than 1,000 metres, the phenomenon is termed a mist or haze, depending on whether the obscurity is caused by water drops or solid particles.
- It refers generally to clouds of smoke particles, ice particles, or mixtures of these components near grounds causing reduction in visibility.
- Fog is formed by the condensation of water vapour on condensation nuclei that are always present in natural air. This happens when the relative humidity of the air exceeds saturation by a fraction of 1 percent.
Subject: Government schemes
Context: The Punjab govt Friday lead the way for villagers residing throughout the “lallakir” (the a part of the habitation used most commonly for non-agricultural functions) to get their belongings registered with the earnings division.
It will help villagers monetise it or avail advantages from banks. The state govt is doing it under the SVAMITVA scheme.
- It is a new initiative under the new initiative of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
- It seeks socio-economic empowerment of the rural mass and making them self-reliant, a Central Sector Scheme, “Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas’ was launched by the Prime Minister on 24th April 2020. The scheme aims to provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners possessing houses in inhabited rural areas in villages and issuance of property cards to the property owners
- The scheme is for surveying the land parcels in rural inhabited area using Drone technology.
- Objectives of scheme are:
- To bring financial stability to the citizens in rural India by enabling them to use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits.
- Creation of accurate land records for rural planning.
- Determination of property tax, which would accrue to the GPs directly in States where it is devolved or else, add to the State exchequer.
- Creation of survey infrastructure and GIS maps that can be leveraged by any department for their use.
- To support in preparation of better-quality Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) by making use of GIS maps.
- To reduce property related disputes and legal cases
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: Coronil has received AYUSH certification as “Supportive measure for Covid-19.
- According to the firm PatanjaliDivya, the coronil has certification from AYUSH Ministry as per WHO norms as a drug that can be used as “supporting measure in Covid-19” and as an immuno-booster.
- The firm said it received Certificate of Pharmaceutical Product (CoPP) from the Ayush section of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation as per the WHO certification scheme.
- Last year the AYUSH Ministry banned Patanjali from selling Coronil tablet when it projected it as a “cure” and sought information on its trials.
- It is a WHO recommended certificate. The format is as per WHO guidelines and uniform across the world.
- It is mandatory to submit it to the importing country when the product is intended for licensing authorization or renewal of registration.
- It is recommended by WHO to facilitate the importing countries in assessing the quality of pharma products. Also, it is a prerequisite of importation and registration.
- CDSCO (It is India’s national regulatory body for pharmaceuticals and medical devices under the Ministry of Health) officers check and scrutinize the application and implement WHO standards.
Context: 6 days post flash floods in Uttarakhand saw Alaknanda river water turning muddy raising concern.
- Normally Alaknanda is muddy only in the monsoon. It is the result of suspended sand, clay, rocks, in the water. Dhauliganga carried the deposits into Alaknanda river after the flood.
- The flood weakened downstream of Tapovan, and the mud and debris reached Rishikesh.
Formation of Ganga
- The Alaknanda rises in the Satopanth glacier and is met at Vishnuprayag by the Dhauli Ganga.
- The Alaknanda is then met by the Nandakini at Nandaprayag, Pindar at Karnaprayag, Mandakini at Rudraprayag, and Bhagirathi at Devprayag.
- Thereafter, it is known as Ganga, which flows to Rishikesh and Haridwar.
Subject: Science and Technology
Context: South African variant of corona virus 501Y.V2 has been reported in India and is more transmissible than UK variant.
A mutation of the Covid-19 virus was discovered in South Africa and announced in December 2020. Similar to the UK mutation that India has been dealing with this year, the South African strain (501Y.V2) is more transmissible. However, it also affects the younger population more.
Are the vaccines less effective against the mutant variant?
Studies have shown that vaccines developed against the original strain are less effective against the mutant variants, particularly the one from South Africa. Initial studies were conducted only in the laboratory and did not involve human volunteers. They also focused on the UK strain.
- The DNA sequence is specific to each organism. It can sometimes undergo changes in its base-pairs sequence. It is termed as a mutation.
- A mutation may lead to changes in proteins translated by the DNA. Usually, the cells can recognize any damage caused by mutation and repair it before it becomes permanent.
Types of Mutations
- It refers to any change in the sequence of DNA, which has no further impact on the amino acid sequence in a protein or in the functions performed by a protein. There is no phenotypic indicator of mutation.
- When due to a point mutation there is change in the sequence of base pair leading to stop codon. It results in a shortened or non-functional protein.
- A missense mutation is a result of point mutation leading to change in the codon, which then codes for another amino acid.
- Most of the mutations occur when the DNA fails to copy accurately. All these mutations lead to evolution. During cell division, the DNA makes a copy of its own. Sometimes, the copy of the DNA is not perfect and this slight difference is called a mutation.
- When the DNA is exposed to certain chemicals or radiations, it causes the DNA to break down. The ultraviolet radiations cause the thymine dimers to break resulting in a mutated DNA.
- Genetic disorders can be caused by the mutation of one or more genes. Cystic fibrosis is one such genetic disorder caused by the mutation in one or more genes.
- Cancer is another disease caused by the mutation in genes that regulate the cell cycle.