Daily Prelims Notes 25 June 2023
- June 25, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
25 June 2023
Table Of Contents
- The role of the Y chromosome in cancer outcomes studied
- Mosquito surveillance must include non-residential urban environments
- How prokaryotes led to eukaryotes
- What is lab-grown meat and what did the U.S. recently approve?
- Translocating jumbos | A tightrope walk for elephants and humans
- Assam’s Kokrajhar district feasts on mushrooms for health and wealth
- Seshachalam Hills
- SP leader Maurya questions inclusion of Savarkar biography in U.P. school curriculum
- Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulations 2023
- PM Modi Arrives in Egypt For Two-Day State Visit
- India-US MQ-9B Reaper Drone Deal
- China- Pakistan Nuclear Deal
- Tamil Nadu idol wing steps up efforts to retrieve idols from USA
- India USA defense partnership in last 20 years
- Indian de mRNA vaccine priced at ₹2292, will be available as a booster dose
- India US Jet Deal
Subject: Science and Technology
- Two studies have shed light on the role of the Y chromosome in cancer outcomes, in which males are often more adversely affected than females. The results of the studies were published in Nature.
- One paper identified an upregulated gene on the Y chromosome that contributes to colorectal cancer in mice by driving tumour invasion and aiding immune escape in males.
- The other study demonstrated how the loss of the Y chromosome in bladder cancer generates a more immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment and contributes to worse outcomes.
Role of Y chromosome:
- Sex is known to affect cancer incidence, with most cancers causing worse outcomes in males than in females.
- Some studies have suggested that the function of the Y chromosome may have a role.
- Colorectal cancer:
- Colorectal cancer is the growth of cells that forms in the lower end of the digestive tract. Most of these cancers start as non-cancerous growths called polyps. Removing polyps can prevent cancer, so healthcare providers recommend screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 45.
- Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths, which is more frequent, aggressive and metastatic in males.
- Researchers have assessed sex differences in colorectal cancer in a mouse model of the disease.
- The model is a specific form of the disease, driven by a known oncogene called KRAS. The researchers observed a higher frequency of metastasis and worse survival in male mice, mirroring the outcomes seen in humans.
- An oncogene is a gene which in certain circumstances can transform a cell into a tumour cell.
- Analyses reveal the upregulation of a gene for an enzyme which drives tumour invasion and immune escape. This gene is expressed on the Y chromosome, thereby providing a potential basis for sex-specific differences in the progression of KRAS-driven colorectal cancer.
- Loss of Y chromosome:
- Researchers have also investigated how the loss of the Y chromosome might affect cancer outcomes.
- Loss of the Y chromosome is a feature observed in multiple cancer types.
- Tumours lacking the Y chromosome were more aggressive and had a dampened T cell-mediated immune response compared with tumours which had the Y chromosomes intact.
- The study also noted that the loss of the Y chromosome is associated with an increased response to a specific type of immunotherapy called anti-PD1 checkpoint blockade therapy in both mice and humans, suggesting a potential line of treatment for this subset of bladder cancers.
Subject: Science and technology
- A longitudinal study in Bengaluru city has found how urbanisation affects mosquito ecology and how mosquito species diversity and abundance change across macro and microhabitats.
- The study found that the quality of breeding sites determines the abundance and distribution of mosquito species, specifically the ones that cause dengue.
- The way mosquitoes interact with larval habitats in different macrohabitats did play an important role in determining mosquito diversity and abundance.
- Six macrohabitats were studied:
- Barren lands, lakes and their surroundings, plantations, and high dense, medium dense, and low dense urban areas.
- Whereas plantations, owing to diverse habitat types, proved to have high mosquito species diversity and richness compared with high-density populated areas in the city, even barren lands did have microhabitats conducive for breeding.
- Aedes aegypti was the most dominant species (55%), followed by Aedes albopictus (28%).
- Habitat preference by the two Aedes species appeared to be driven at the microhabitat level.
- Man-made artificial containers accounted for over 90% of larval habitats. Water storage containers came out as the most common breeding habitat for Ae. aegypti.
- Discarded grinding stones showed a high prevalence of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus larvae. But the prevalence in stagnant water was less as these are open water bodies and more polluted.
- The body size of these mosquitoes varies according to the microhabitat. The wing length varies. The study found that when both Aedes species co-existed in a microhabitat, Ae. albopictus always ended up with reduced wing length.
Preventive steps: Neighbourhood surveillance:
- WHO protocols are restricted to door-to-door larval surveillance and looking for mosquito larvae in containers.
- The study has demonstrated that urban environments with non-residential locations too harbour ideal breeding sites.
- Any programme aimed at reducing dengue transmission should also factor in neighbourhood surveillance to prevent and control the rising threat of Aedes species.
- Wolbachia method:
- The World Mosquito Program’s innovative Wolbachia method is helping communities around the world prevent the spread of mosquito-borne disease.
- Wolbachia are extremely common bacteria that occur naturally in 50 per cent of insect species, including some mosquitoes, fruit flies, moths, dragonflies and butterflies.
- Aedes aegypti mosquitoes don’t normally carry Wolbachia, however many other mosquitoes do.
- When Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry Wolbachia (by gene-editing), the bacteria compete with viruses like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.
- This makes it harder for viruses to reproduce inside the mosquitoes. And the mosquitoes are much less likely to spread viruses from person to person.
Subject: Science and technology
Classification of organisms:
- Organisms on planet Earth are broadly divided into prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
- Prokaryotes are unicellular, do not have any organelles such as mitochondria, and their DNA is not packaged into a nucleus.
- Eukaryotes have mitochondria, their DNA is packaged into a nucleus, and most eukaryotes are complex, multicellular beings.
- But a subset of unicellular organisms known as Archaea have a different line of descent as compared to bacteria.
- The two differ in the composition of their cell walls and in the sequence of some of their genes.
- The term Archaea, suggesting ancient, was used because the first members of this domain were found living in extreme environments of very high temperatures or very high salt.
- One group of archaea were shown to have proteins that closely resembled eukaryotic proteins (multicellular organism).
- These organisms are found in a geological formation where geothermally heated water is forced out of a ridge in the Atlantic Ocean floor at a depth of 2400 meters below sea level.
- Many other related members were later found in unusual ecosystems and came to be collectively called the Asgard, which is the home of the Gods in Norse mythology.
Mitochondria as endosymbionts:
- The mitochondria in eukaryotic cells and photosynthesizing chloroplasts in plant cells have evolved from free-living bacteria.
- The ancestor of mitochondria was a proteobacterium that was engulfed by an Asgard archaean organism.
- Descendants of this endosymbiotic union gave rise to animals, fungi and plants.
- In plants, the Asgard-mitochondrial union was followed by the intake of a photosynthesizing cyanobacterium, which became the chloroplast.
Plants do it differently:
- Researchers have found that plants adopt different strategies from animals and fungi.
- Proteins are made up of amino acids. Nature uses only left-handed amino acids; the right-handed ones can be poisonous.
- The mechanism for discriminating ‘good’ from ‘bad’ is different for Asgards and bacteria.
- The paper shows that animals and fungi work their way around this discrepancy by forcing the mitochondria to change.
- Plants segregate the two policing machineries in the cytoplasm and in mitochondria.
Subject : Science and technology
- The two companies, Good Meat and Upside Foods have received the U.S. government’s approval to make and sell their cell-cultivated chicken.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was involved in the regulatory process but didn’t technically approve the products because the process doesn’t require approval.
- The step is being hailed by stakeholders in the concept as a major step forward for reducing the carbon emissions associated with the food industry worldwide.
- The first country to approve the sale of alternative meat was Singapore in 2020.
- “Cell-cultivated chicken” – that’s the official name of chicken meat that is grown in a laboratory for human consumption.
- Process of cultivation:
- First, isolate the cells that make up this meat (the meat that we consume), and put them in a setting where they have all the resources they need to grow and make more copies of themselves.
- These resources are typically nutrients, fats, carbohydrates, amino acids, the right temperature, etc.
- The ‘setting’ in which this process transpires is often a bioreactor (also known as a ‘cultivator’), a sensor-fit device – like a container – that has been designed to support a particular biological environment.
- Because of the techniques involved, producing meat in this way is also called cellular agriculture.
- Once these cells have become sufficiently large in number, which takes around two to three weeks in Upside’s process, they resemble a mass of minced meat.
- They are collected and then processed, with additives to improve their texture and/or appearance, and are destined for various recipes.
- Researchers are also developing cell-cultivated versions of sea bass, tuna, shrimp, and pork.
Why was cell-cultivated meat created?
- Reasons include reduced emissions, land use, prevention of animal slaughter, food security, and customisation.
- Global livestock is responsible for 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions.
- The lab-cultivated meat would use 63% less land in the case of chicken and 72% in the case of pork.
- Perfectly substituting animal meat with alternative meat requires the latter to match the former’s taste, texture, and appearance, and cost.
- The cost of cell-cultivated meat is expected to remain high in the near future.
- For the cellular cultivation process, researchers require high-quality cells to begin with (plus information about how different cell types contribute to the ‘meat’), a suitable growth medium in which the cells can be cultured, plus other resources required to maintain the quality of the final product.
- The research found that if cell cultivation requires a “highly refined growth medium”, akin to that used in the pharmaceutical industry, then the “environmental impact of near-term [cell-cultivated meat] production is likely to be orders of magnitude higher than median beef production.”
Section: Places in news
- The recent translocation of Arikompan, an elephant from Kerala, to the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu has brought back into focus the variables that dictate the success of such operations.
- The attempt is two-fold:
- To give the elephant a second chance at a life in the wild, and
- To provide villagers peace of mind from the threat of attacks for food.
- According to experts, four of the last five elephants released inside the reserve or in the surrounding areas after being captured have either been recaptured or have died.
|Protected areas in News
|1. Kalakkad Mundanthurai WLS
|2. Bandipur Tiger reserve
|3. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
|4. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
Subject : Science and technology
- Nutrient-loaded mushrooms introduced into the midday meals in western Assam’s Kokrajhar district, as soups, biscuits, fortified noodles, or mixed with regular food in powdered form, appear to have had a positive nutritional effect on children in schools.
- Mushrooms were one of the major ingredients introduced for children and mothers, in addition to vitamin and mineral supplementation.
|Statistical improvement in Kokrajhar district (as per the Data from district authorities
|Number of Underweight children (upto 6 years)
|Reduced by 56%
|Number of Wasted children
|Reduced by 55%
|Number of Anaemic children
|Reduced by 76%
|Maternal Mortality Rate
|Decreased by 72.37% to stand at 89.79 per lakh live births ( Assam’s MMR is 205)
|Infant Mortality rate
|Decreased by 30.56% to 15.97 per 1000 live births (Assam’s IMR is 36)
Origin of the initiative:
- Initiated by the Bodoland University’s Department of Biotechnology in 2012.
- Its experiments on making 23 species of mushrooms such as oyster, shitake, and cordyceps economically viable and affordable, made many farmers start cultivation in their backyards, sometimes even under beds.
- Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) launched the Mushroom Mission in 2021.
- In 2021, Kokrajhar changed its product from Eri silk to mushroom under the One District One Product (ODOP) initiative.
- More than 21,500 mushroom cultivators, including members of 503 self-help groups, are women.
Tackling farm waste:
- Women were attracted because of high returns on low investments.
- they earn up to ₹400 per bag of moistened hay for an input cost of ₹35.
- Growing mushroom is also not labour-intensive.
- The “mushroom movement” has also helped people deal with 0.16 million tonnes of farm waste (rice, wheat, and maize residue) compressed into layered bags for growing the mushrooms. After these bags stop producing, they are turned into vermicompost.
- The district administration facilitated the export of 220 kg mushrooms, sourced from individual farmers, to Bhutan where the demand is high but conditions are not suitable for growing them unlike in Kokrajhar.
- ODOP has seen 16 schools in the district taking up mushroom farming in their nutrigardens along with an array of vegetables.
- It has also helped revive the mushroom spawn labs in 11 government-run senior secondary schools across the Bodoland Territorial Region that were set up under a three-year Department of Biotechnology scheme in 2015.
- A mushroom or toadstool is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground, on soil, or on its food source.
- A toadstool generally denotes one poisonous to humans.
Subject : Environment
Section: Places in news
About Seshachalam Hills:
- The Seshachalam Hills are a part of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.
- They are a group of seven hills namely, Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri.
- The ranges were formed during the Precambrian era (3.8 billion to 540 million years ago)
- The Seshachalam hills consist of sandstone and shale along with limestone.
- Tirupati which is considered as one of the major Hindu pilgrimage towns in India is located in the hills.
- The Srivenkateshwara National Park is also located in this mountain range.
- Seshachalam was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in the year 2010
- It has large reserves of red sandalwood.
- Tribes of Yanadis are the native population of the reserve.
Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve
- The Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Sanctuary was declared officially in 1978 and has been recognized by the Project Tiger in 1983.
- Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve is the largest tiger reserve in India.
- In 1992, it was retitled as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The Tiger reserve is spread over 5 districts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- The area consists mostly of the Nallamala Hills.
- The multipurpose reservoirs- Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar are located in the reserve.
- The Krishna River cuts the basin of this reserve.
Subject : History
Section: Modern India
Context: After the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board decided to incorporate the biography of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, along with 49 other eminent leaders, into the academic curriculum of the State Board, Samajwadi Party (SP) national general secretary Swami Prasad Maurya on Saturday asked the government why it has not included the biographies of Muslim League leaders
V D Savarkar
- V D Savarkar was born on 28th May, 1883 in Bhagur, a village near Nashik in Maharashtra.
Related Organisations and Work:
- Founded a secret society called Abhinav Bharat Society.
- Went to the United Kingdom and was involved with organizations such as India House and the Free India Society.
- Involved in the formation of Hindu Mahasabha.
- He was the president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943.
- Savarkar wrote a book titled ‘The History of the War of Indian Independence’ in which he wrote about the guerilla warfare tricks used in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny.
- He also wrote the book ‘Hindutva: who is hindu?’.
Trial and Sentences:
- Arrested in 1909 on charges of plotting an armed revolt against the Morley-Minto reform (Indian Councils Act 1909).
- Arrested in 1910 for his connections with the revolutionary group India House.
- One of the charges on Savarkar was abetment to murder of Nashik Collector Jackson and the second was waging a conspiracy under Indian penal code 121-A against the King emperor.
- Following the two trials, Savarkar was convicted and sentenced to 50-years imprisonment also known as Kala Pani and transported in 1911 to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- He was not considered by the British government as a political prisoner.
- He died on 26th February 1966 due to fasting on his own wish of death.
Abhinav Bharat Society (Young India Society)
- It was a secret society founded by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and his brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar in 1904.
- Initially founded at Nasik as MitraMela, the society was associated with several revolutionaries and political activists with branches in various parts of India and London.
- It was founded by ShyamjiKishanVerma in 1905 in London.
- It was opened to promote nationalist views among Indian students in London.
Free India Society
- It was a political organization of Indian students in England, committed to obtaining the independence of India from British rule.
- Initially an intellectual group, it became a revolutionary outfit under its founding leader, Madam BhikajiCama.
- It was a political party formed in 1933.
- It was founded by Veer Damodar Savarkar, LalaLajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malviya.
- The organisation was formed to protect the rights of the Hindu community, after the formation of the All India Muslim League in 1906 and the British India government’s creation of separate Muslim electorate under the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909.
- Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha is one of the oldest organizations of India as it was formed in 1907.
- Eminent leaders extended this Organization in 1915 on All India basis.
- In the 1930s, it emerged as a distinct party under the leadership of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who developed the far-right ideology of Hindutva (Hindu-ness) and became a fierce opponent of the secular nationalism espoused by the Congress.
- During the Second World War, the Mahasabha supported the British war effort and briefly entered coalitions with the Muslim League in provincial and central councils.
- It opposed the Quit India Movement and supported the British.
- The party opposed the 1947 partition of India and sought the establishment of a secular and united state named Hindustan with same rights for citizens without regards to religion
- The Eminent personalities who founded this Organisation and who presided over the All India Sessions held include Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, Lal Lajpat Rai, Veer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, etc.
The All-India Muslim League (popularised as the Muslim League) was a political party established in 1906 in British India
The founders of the Muslim League were: Khwaja Salimullah, Vikar-ul-Mulk, Syed Amir Ali, Syed Nabiullah, Khan Bahadur Ghulam and Mustafa Chowdhury.
The first Honorary President of the League was Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah (Aga Khan III).
- To create among Muslims the feelings of loyalty towards British Government and to remove misconception and suspicious.
2.To Safeguard the political rights of the Muslims and to bring them into the notice of the Government.
3. To prevent among the Muslims, the rise of prejudicial feelings against the other communities of India.
The first session of all India Muslim league was held at Karachi on 29th December, 1907 and was presided over by Adamji Peer Bhai.
It was being felt from the beginning that the All India Muslim League would not achieve considerable success without winning the British Public opinion to its side. Therefore, Syed Ameer Ali organized the branch of Muslim league at London. The inaugural meeting was held on 6th May 1908, at London Caxton Hall. It was participated by the Muslim and those British people who favoured their view point.
- Born on 25 December 1876 in Karachi, now in Pakistan, (then part of British-controlled India) , Jinnah was a barrister by occupation at Lincoln’s Inn in London, England.
- Jinnah was the person who successfully structured the dream for an independent Pakistan and became its first leader.
- He is popularly called there as ‘Quaid-I Azam’ or ‘Great Leader’.
Role in Indian politics
- In 1916, he was elected as the president of the Muslim league.
- Jinnah rose to prominence in the Indian National Congress in the first two decades of the 20th century. In these early years of his political career, Jinnah advocated Hindu–Muslim unity, in which Jinnah had also become prominent.
- In 1920, however, Jinnah resigned from the Congress when it agreed to follow a campaign of satyagraha, which he regarded as political anarchy.
- In 1940, in the Lahore Muslim League session, the first official demand for the partition of India and the creation of a Muslim state of ‘Pakistan‘ was called upon
- His continuous efforts and negotiations with the British government resulted in the partition of India and the formation of the state of Pakistan on 14 August 1947.
- Jinnah became the first governor general of Pakistan, but died of tuberculosis on 11 September 1948.
Major Contributions by him:
- Muhammad Ali Jinnah is known to be the ﬁrst political leader to raise a voice against the Salt Tax.
- He helped in shaping the 1916 Lucknow Pact between the Congress and the All-India Muslim League.
- Jinnah, also, was a key leader in the All-India Home Rule League.
- He even proposed a fourteen-point constitutional reform plan for protecting the political rights of Muslims in the Indian subcontinent.
Events leading to partition
Pakistan Resolution—Lahore (March 1940)
- The Muslim League passed a resolution calling for “grouping of geographically contiguous areas where Muslims are in majority (North-West, East) into independent states in which constituent units shall be autonomous and sovereign and adequate safeguards to Muslims where they are in minority
- Linlithgow announced the August Offer (August 1940) which proposed, no future constitution to be adopted without the consent of minorities.
- Rajagopalachari Formula
- C. Rajagopalachari (CR), prepared a formula for Congress-League cooperation in 1944. It was a tacit acceptance of the League’s demand for Pakistan.
- Jinnah wanted the Congress to accept the two-nation theory. He wanted only the Muslims of North-West and North-East to vote in the plebiscite and not the entire population
- The viceroy, Lord Wavell was permitted to start negotiations with Indian leaders. The League claimed some kind of veto in the council. Wavell announced a breakdown of talks thus giving the League a virtual veto. This strengthened the League’s position
The Cabinet Mission Plan
- The Cabinet Mission Plan was against the creation of Pakistan since grouping was option; one constituent assembly was envisaged; and the League no longer had a veto. Muslim League. The Muslim League believed Pakistan to be implied in compulsory grouping.
- The Muslim League on June 6 and the Congress on June 24, 1946 accepted the long-term plan put forward by the Cabinet Mission, July 29, 1946 The League withdrew its acceptance of the long-term plan in response to Nehru’s statement and gave a call for “direct action” from August 16 to achieve Pakistan.
- Government headed by Nehru was sworn in on September 2, 1946 with Nehru continuing to insist on his party’s opposition to the compulsory grouping. Wavell quietly brought the Muslim League into the Interim Government on October 26, 1946. The League was allowed to join without giving up the ‘direct action’.
Indian Independence Act
- Mountbatten Plan, June 3, 1947: The freedom-with-partition formula was coming to be widely accepted well before Mountbatten arrived in India. Mountbatten’s formula was to divide India but retain maximum unity
- The Act provided for the creation of two independent dominions of India and Pakistan with effect from August 15, 1947. As per the provisions of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, Pakistan became independent on August 14 while India got its freedom on August 15, 1947. M.A. Jinnah became the first Governor-General of Pakistan.
Congress and Gandhi stand
- The virtual collapse of the Interim Government also made the notion of Pakistan appear unavoidable.
- Official reference to Pakistan came in March 1947, when CWC resolution stated that Punjab (by implication, Bengal) must be partitioned if the country was divided.
- Gandhi felt helpless because there had been a communalisation of the people. He had no option but to accept partition because the people wanted it
- On both sides of the Radcliffe Line, sizable sections of populations became minority (religion-wise)—20 million non-Muslims in Pakistan and 42 million (later reduced to 35 million) Muslims in India.
- In absurd hurry, the British government appointed the Boundary Commission under the chairmanship of Sir Cyril Radcliffe.
- The communal riots had started in August 1946 itself, but with the announcement of partition and independence, the situation became more inflamed, due to Gandhi’s initiatives, no massacres took place in these regions)
- Amidst serious chaos, the British troops started to leave India from August 17, 1947 and the process was completed by February 1948.
- To resolve the problems of refugees and restore communal peace in the two countries, especially in Bengal (East Pakistan as well as West Bengal), the Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and the Pakistani prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, signed an agreement on April 8, 1950
Subject : Polity
Section : Laws in news
- The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) notified the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulations) Amendment Rules 2023 (under the ART Act 2021) to provide donors and patients with better medical care and security.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
- It is defined as all techniques used to obtain a pregnancy by handling the sperm or egg cell outside the human body and transferring the embryo into the woman’s reproductive tract.
- These include – sperm donation, in-vitro-fertilisation (IVF) (where the sperm is fertilised in a lab), and gestational surrogacy (child is not biologically related to surrogate).
Salient Provisions of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act 2021:
- Rules for ART clinics & banks:
- Every ART clinic and bank must be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India which will maintain a central database with details of such institutions.
- The registration of such clinics and banks is valid for five years and can be renewed for another five years.
- It may be cancelled or suspended if the institution violates the provisions of the Act.
- Conditions for sperm donation & ART services:
- A registered ART bank can screen, collect and store semen from men aged between 21 and 55 years. It can also store eggs from women aged between 23 and 35 years.
- Under the Act, female donors need to be married with at least one child of their own, aged at least three.
- A child born via an ART procedure will be deemed to be the couple’s biological child in the eyes of the law and is entitled to all such rights. The donor does not retain any parental rights over the child.
- Consent and insurance coverage:
- Such ART procedures require the written informed consent of both the couple and the donor.
- The couple seeking an ART procedure must provide insurance coverage for the female donor in case of loss, damage or death of the donor.
- Regulation of ART processes:
- The National and State Board formed under the Surrogacy Act 2021 are also expected to regulate ART services.
- These boards are to advise the government on policy, review and monitor implementation of the law, and formulate a code of conduct for ART clinics and banks.
- Offences under this Act include abandoning or exploiting children born through ART; sale, purchase, or trade of embryos; exploiting the couple or donor in any form; and transfer of an embryo into a male or an animal.
- Such offences are punishable with imprisonment up to 8 to 12 years and a fine up to Rs 10 to 20 lakhs.
- Clinics and banks are prohibited from advertising or offering sex-selective ART.
- Such an offence is punishable with imprisonment ranging between 5 to 10 years or/and a fine of Rs 10 to 25 lakhs.
Subject : International Relations
Section: International events
- PM Modi began his maiden state visit to Egypt by holding discussions with the “India Unit” in the Egyptian Cabinet.
- This India Unit was set up earlier this year following the State Visit of President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, to India as Chief Guest for Republic Day 2023.
- The India Unit is headed by the Prime Minister of Egypt Mustafa Madbouly, and comprises a number of Ministers and senior officials.
- This is the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in 26 years.
- The Prime Minister began his visit with discussions with Egyptian Prime Minister Madbouly and top Cabinet ministers to deepen trade relations and further strengthen the strategic partnership.
- He also met the members of the Indian diaspora and the Bohra community.
- His meeting with the Bohra community members comes ahead of his visit to Cairo’s historic Al-Hakim Mosque, restored with the help of India’s Dawoodi Bohra community.
- The Bohra community in India originated from the Fatima dynasty and they have renovated the mosque from the 1970s onwards.
- He will visit the Heliopolis War Cemetery to pay respects to the Indian troops who gave their lives in the ultimate act of valour for Egypt during World War-1.
About Heliopolis Memorial:
- Here the names of nearly 4,000 Indian soldiers who fought in Word War 1 in Egypt and Palestine are commemorated.
- The Heliopolis Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery also commemorates 1,700 Commonwealth soldiers who died in World War 2.
- Role of Indian Army in West Asia in First World War
- The Indian troops played a key role in securing the Suez Canal in Egypt and in Palestine.
- Here Indian cavalry participated in the Battle of Haifa, commemorated in New Delhi in a war memorial.
- Indian soldiers also played a key role in Mesopotamia in the First World War.
Al-Hakim mosque Egypt
- Al-Hakim mosque, a significant Islamic religious site of 11th Century.
- It is situated in Cairo, Egypt near Khan El Khalili bazaar.
- It is also known as Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah Mosque.
History and Architecture
- During the rule of Al-Hakim it was constructed from 990 CE to 1013 CE.
- Hence it is a 11th Century structure.
- The architecture of mosque has taken inspiration from various styles for instance Fatimud, Mamluk and Ottoman.
- It was decorated with elegant calligraphy, geometric patterns on the walls of mosques.
- It has large courtyard and the indoor areas.
- It also has attractive marble flooring on the surface and adorns decorative tiles of wood near ceilings.
Subject : Science and technology
- Deal for procurement of 31 MQ-9B armed High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
- The Union Defence Ministry is set to issue a Letter of Request (LoR) to the U.S. for the procurement of 31 MQ-9B armed High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
- Discussions are ongoing to increase the indigenous content and sourcing in the deal, aiming for an increase from the proposed 8-9% to 15-20%.
- Certain components and electronics can potentially be manufactured in India, and General Atomics is engaging with Indian companies as part of the agreement.
- The joint statement issued after the talks between President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that the MQ-9Bs would be assembled in India, enhancing the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of the armed forces.
- The Indian Navy has a particular interest in these UAVs due to their cost-effectiveness and capability to significantly enhance ISR capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.
- General Atomics will also establish a comprehensive global Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul facility in India.
High-altitude long-endurance UAV:
- High-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) generally refers to UAVs flying at an altitude of 15–20 km with a low speed.
- In other words, it needs to realize long-distance flight in an environment with thin air and low temperature.
- There are many ways to achieve long endurance, such as using sustainable energy sources (e.g., solar energy), increasing the energy density of energy storage (e.g., solid hydrogen), and improving power conversion efficiency.
Subject : International Relations
- China and Pakistan signed an agreement on June 20 to establish a 1,200 MW nuclear power facility in Pakistan’s Chashma nuclear complex.
- With a reported value of $4.8 billion, the agreement is critical for Pakistan as it is grappling with an energy and economic downturn.
- The implications of this nuclear deal extend beyond Pakistan, raising concerns about the global regulation of nuclear trade as China proceeded without obtaining required waivers from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
About the deal:
- The new reactor will be the fifth reactor at the Chashma nuclear complex (C-5).
- C-5 will be the biggest reactor at Chashma, where China has already constructed four phases of the complex, with four reactors of around 325 MW each.
- It will use China’s Hualong One reactor, which has also been installed in two plants in Karachi.
- Pakistan is currently operating six China-built nuclear plants, four smaller reactors at the Chashma complex and two at the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP).
- An agreement for KANUPP-3 was signed in 2013, the year Chinese President Xi Jinping launched his Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and became a flagship energy project as part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of the BRI.
- China’s civilian nuclear collaborations with Pakistan have faced scrutiny due to the restrictions imposed by the NSG.
- The NSG prohibits member countries from transferring nuclear technology to nations that haven’t signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
- China Argument :
- Although China became an NSG member in 2004, it argued that the Chashma 3 and Chashma 4 reactors were exempt due to previous agreements with Pakistan predating its NSG membership.
How different is it from the India-U.S. nuclear deal?
- Chinese analysts have attempted to justify this nuclear cooperation by citing the India-U.S. nuclear deal.
- However, there are notable differences between the two cases.
- The India-U.S. deal required a waiver from the NSG, which was granted in 2008, allowing India to participate in global nuclear trade.
- India had to make commitments such as placing facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, separating civilian and military nuclear programs, and maintaining a testing moratorium.
- China, on the other hand, has not sought a waiver from the NSG, and Pakistan has not made similar commitments. China has argued that IAEA safeguards on the reactors would suffice.
- Additionally, China’s opposition has impeded India’s bid to become a full member of the NSG, as China linked India’s membership with that of Pakistan’s in 2015, creating obstacles in the process.
- The 48-member NSG is an elite club of countries that deals with the trade-in nuclear technology and fissile materials besides contributing to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
- Brought in 1974– in response to the Indian nuclear test (smiling Buddha).
- It is a Group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.
- The NSG first met in November 1975 in London, and is thus popularly referred to as the “London Club”.
- Its guidelines are not binding.
Benefits associated with NSG membership :
- Timely information on nuclear matters.
- Contributes by way of information.
- Has confirmed credentials.
- Can act as an instrument of harmonization and coordination.
- Is part of a very transparent process.
Opposition of NSG membership bid:
- China, one of the five nuclear-weapon states, stridently opposes India’s NSG bid primarily on the grounds that New Delhi is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
- Its opposition has made India’s entry into the group difficult as the NSG works on the principle of consensus.
- Besides, India’s capacity to project its military power beyond the Indian Ocean region is still to be tested. Further, India heavily relies on weaponry imports from US and Russia for its military requirements.
For further reference on IAEA , refer – https://optimizeias.com/international-atomic-energy-agency-iaea/
Subject : History
Section: Art and culture
- The Idol Wing-CID (IW-CID) of the Tamil Nadu Police, with assistance from U.S. authorities, has made significant progress in recovering 16 valuable antique idols stolen from Chola-era temples in Tamil Nadu.
- The idols, recently traced to museums and art galleries in the U.S., were taken from temples in Veeratteswarar Swami at Korukkai, Mayiladurai, Nareeswarar Temple at Veeracholapuram, Kallakurichi, and Venugopala Swami and Viswanatha Swami temple at Alathur, Mannarkudi.
- The IW-CID is working closely with U.S. agencies, such as Homeland Security and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, to facilitate the return of the idols to their respective temples.
- Evidence and documentation related to the stolen idols were submitted to the relevant U.S. authorities, who have successfully located the items.
- The investigators collaborated with the French Institute of Pondicherry to gather photos of the documented idols and formed specialised teams to search museums and art galleries worldwide.
- Through extensive efforts, the missing idols, including Shiva, Parvathi, Nataraja, Sundarar and Paravai Nachiyar, Veenadhara/Dakshinamurthy, and Nandikeshwarar, were found at the Cleveland Museum and Christie’s Auction House in the United States.
Chola Bronze Sculptures
- Chola period bronzes were created using the lost wax technique. It is known in artistic terms as “Cire Perdue”.
- Nataraja is the most popular image in Chola Bronzes. This is the dancing Shiva, the presiding deity of the Chola dynasty.
- After Nataraja, the next most popular image is Somaskanda where Shiva is depicted sitting with his consort Uma and his son Skanda dancing between them on a platform.
- KalyanasundaraMurti: 9th century; marriage is represented by 2 separate statuettes; Shiva and Parvati’s marriage or panigrahana.
- Ardhanarishwar with half Shiva and half Shakti is another popular image
- Parvati is also carved in her various avatars like Maheshwari, Durga, Kali, etc. Her most popular avatar remains Mahishasurmardini – the one who slays the demon Mahisha.
- Great patron of Chola bronze work: widowed queen SembiyanMaha Devi (10th century).
Subject : International Relations
Section: India and Major powers
- Jet engine deal could defeat some of the scepticism around previous big ticket India U.S. deals that did not result in a deal. For example,
- NPCIL Westinghouse MoU for six nuclear reactors in Andhra Pradesh first signed in 2009 and held up by Indian regulations.
- Petronet Tellurian deal for investment in an LNG project in the U.S. signed in 2019,
- Negotiations between India and the U.S. over jet engine Transfer of Technology (ToT) that were held under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) framework from 2012 to 2019 before being shelved over the U.S. export regulations.
- However, , many steps had been taken prior to the GEF414 announcement that makes this case different from the last round of talks and the nuclear deal.
Some of them are,
- Major Defence Ally status in 2016
- Strategic Trade Authorisation1 (STA1 Status) in 2018,
- Signing of four “foundational agreements” between the two militaries,
- Launch of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) between NationalSecurity Advisers (NSAs).
- Strategic Trade Dialogue set up between the two governments would help resolve any issues that crop up.
- S.’s decision to offer ToT to India despite India’s contrary position on Russia and dependence on Russian hardware means that the U.S. “has come to accept” India’s strategic autonomy, and that a stronger India is in the U.S.’s interest as it can pose a deterrent to China.
Subject : Science and technology
- India’s first indigenously developed mRNA vaccine against the dominant Omicron variant of the COVID19 coronavirus will cost ₹2,292, Sanjay Singh, CEO, Gennova Bio pharmaceuticals, said at a press conference.
- General traditional vaccines function by way of introducing antigens and stimulating an antibody response. But mRNA vaccines are different from traditional vaccines.
- mRNA fragment is a piece of virus that carries instructions to build antigens of the virus.
- mRNA vaccines inject a fragment of the RNA sequence of a virus directly into the cells, which then stimulates an adaptive immune response.
- One of the crucial advantages of RNA vaccines is their ability to stimulate cellular immunity.
- However mRNA vaccines will require cold conditions for storage as unlike traditional DNA vaccines, mRNA vaccines are more fragile as the molecules degrade within minutes when exposed to the outside environment.
- mRNA vaccines trick the body into producing some of the viral proteins themselves. They work by using messenger RNA or mRNA, which is the molecule that essentially puts DNA instructions into action. mRNA is used as a template to build a protein inside a cell.
Monovalent and Bivalent Vaccines
- A monovalent vaccine contains one strain of the virus in question, while a bivalent vaccine contains two strains.
- In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, the monovalent version contains the original SARS-CoV-2 viral strain, whereas the bivalent vaccine consists of the original strain plus another.
- The mRNA vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna are ‘bivalent’, meaning they contain synthetic spike proteins that are effective against both the older Wuhan strain as well as the newer Omicron strains.
Subject : Science and technology
- The deal is anticipated to be announced between the American multinational corporation General Electric (GE) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the manufacture.
- The decal will provide a licence in India for GE’s F414 engine for the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk2.
- The deal was a key highlight of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s meeting with his American counterpart Jake Sullivan in February.
- In this meeting, the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (CET) was operationalised.
The GE-414 engine
- The turbofan engine is a part of GE’s suite of military aircraft engines and it has been in use by the US Navy for more than 30 years.
- Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC): It is the latest aircraft ignition and engine control system that controls engine performance digitally.
- Advanced materials and cooling techniques: It finds a usage of advanced materials and cooling techniques to improve performance and extend component life.
What are F414-powered jets?
- Currently Eight nations have F414-powered aircraft in operation or on order.
- F414-GE-400 engines power the US Navy’s Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
- Saab’s Gripen E/F fighters use the F414G, the single-engine variant of the F414-GE-400.
- F414 engines can also power emerging platforms such as the Korean KF-X.
Engine version for Indian aircraft
- For the LCA Tejas Mk2, The India-specific version of the engine, F414-INS6, was selected by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
- The LCA Tejas is currently powered by a single GE-f 404-IN20 engine.
- The basic design of The GE-404 engine has been replicated in the F414 and the latter was developed in the 1970s.
Competitors of Engines of Indian Aircrats
- F414 engines may also be used to power the prototypes and the initial batch of the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) which are India’s futuristic fifth generation fighter aircraft for our Air Force.
- However, AMCA might be the possible recipient of the engine, but other jet engine makers such as Safran SA of France and Rolls-Royce of the United Kingdom, are its competitors.
- Safran and HAL have co-developed the Shakti engine for the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) Prachand.
India’s pursuit of indigenous aero-engines
- India’s pursuit of indigenous aero-engines started in the 1960s with the HF-24 Marut fighter jet, which had limits since it lacked a suitable engine. Historical Efforts: India’s pursuit of indigenous aero-engines has a long history.
- Launched in 1986, the Kaveri programme sought to create a homegrown military gas turbine engine for the LCA project. It cost a lot of money, yet it was unable to achieve the required technical standards.
- Interim Measure: India chose American GE-F404 engines for the LCA Tejas Mark-1 as a temporary fix.
- The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme was started by the Government of India in 1984 when they established the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) to manage the LCA programme.
- It replaced the ageing Mig 21 fighter planes.
- Designed by: Aeronautical Development Agency under the Department of Defence Research and Development.
- Manufactured by: State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- The lightest, smallest and tailless multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft in its class.
- Designed to carry a range of air-to-air, air-to-surface, precision-guided, weapons.
- Air to air refuelling capability.
- Maximum payload capacity of 4000 kg.
- It can attend the maximum speed of Mach 1.8.
- The range of the aircraft is 3,000km
Variants of Tejas:
- Tejas Trainer: 2-seater operational conversion trainer for training air force pilots.
- LCA Navy: Twin- and single-seat carrier-capable for the Indian Navy.
- LCA Tejas Navy MK2: This is phase 2 of the LCA Navy variant.
- LCA Tejas Mk-1A: This is an improvement over the LCA Tejas Mk1 with a higher thrust engine.