Daily Prelims Notes 5 December 2021
- December 5, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
5 December 2021
Table Of Contents
- National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
- N. plans to drastically expand plastic waste management in India
- Greater Tipraland
- Agro climatic zones in India
- Superconducting Fault Current Limiter (SFCL)
- Blood Clots after Oxford Vaccine
- Western Honey Bees
- S-gene Drop Out
- National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)
Subject – Governance
Context – National Family Benefit Scheme is in urgent need of revival
- The National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) was introduced by GOI throughout the country in August 1995,under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), with the aim to provide immediate succor to those Below Poverty Line (BPL) families whose lone bread earner expires due to natural or accidental cause.
- Till 2002-03 it was fully funded by GOI under centrally sponsored scheme. Thereafter it was shifted to State Sector and is currently in vogue under the same pattern.
- Under National Family Benefit Scheme one-time financial assistance of Rs.20000/-is being paid to the bereaved family living below poverty line whose lone bread earner expires due to the natural or accidental death and is having no substantial source of income.
- In addition to this the deceased bread earner should be in the age group of 18-64 years.
Subject – Environment
Context – U.N. plans to drastically expand plastic waste management in India
- The United Nations Development Programme aims to almost triple its plastic waste management to 100 cities in India by 2024, to combat the damaging effects of plastic pollution.
- The UNDP programme, which began in 2018, has so far collected 83,000 metric tonne of plastic waste. India generates about 3.4 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, according to official estimates.
- The UNDP is working with federal think tank, NITI Aayog and have jointly developed a ‘handbook’ model for local municipalities as well as the private sector.
- Plastic pollution is set to triple by 2040, the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) has predicted, adding 23-37 million metric tons of waste into the world’s oceans each year.
- India, also the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, has set 2070 as a target to reach net-zero carbon emissions, much later than those set by others and twenty years after the U.N.’s global recommendation.
To know about Plastic waste management amendment rules 2021, please refer August 2021 DPN.
Subject – Governance
Context – Several tribal outfits in Tripura have joined hands to push their demand for a separate state for indigenous communities in the region, arguing that their “survival and existence” was at stake.
- The parties are demanding a separate state of ‘Greater Tipraland’ for the indigenous communities of the north-eastern state. They want the Centre to carve out the separate state under Article 2 and 3 of the Constitution.
- Among the 19 notified Scheduled Tribes in Tripura, Tripuris (aka Tipra and Tiprasas) are the largest.
- According to the 2011 census, there are at least 5.92 lakh Tripuris in the state, followed by Reangs (1.88 lakh) and Jamatias (83,000).
What does the Constitution say?
- Article 2 of the Constitution deals with admission or establishment of new states. “Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions, as it thinks fit,” it states.
- Article 3 comes into play in the case of “formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States” by the Parliament.
How did the demand originate?
- Tripura was a kingdom ruled by the Manikya dynasty from the late 13th century until the signing of the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government on October 15, 1949.
- The demand mainly stems from the anxiety of the indigenous communities in connection with the change in the demographics of the state, which has reduced them to a minority.
- It happened due to the displacement of Bengalis from the erstwhile East Pakistan between 1947 and 1971.
What has been done to address the grievances of indigenous communities?
- The Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTADC) was formed under the sixth schedule of the Constitution in 1985 to ensure development and secure the rights and cultural heritage of the tribal communities.
- The TTADC, which has legislative and executive powers, covers nearly two-third of the state’s geographical area.
- The council comprises 30 members of which 28 are elected while two are nominated by the Governor.
- Also, out of the 60 Assembly seats in the state, 20 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
Subject – Geography
Context – Punjab’s six agro-climatic zones might hold key to its diversification conundrum
What is Agro climatic zone?
- An “Agro-climatic zone” is a land unit in terms of major climates, suitable for a certain range of crops and cultivars.
- The planning aims at scientific management of regional resources to meet the food, fiber, fodder and fuel wood without adversely affecting the status of natural resources and environment.
- Agro-climatic conditions mainly refer to soil types, rainfall, temperature and water availability which influence the type of vegetations.
Agro-climatic regions by the erstwhile Planning Commission
- The Planning Commission, as a result of the mid-term appraisal of the planning targets of the Seventh Plan, has divided the country into fifteen broad agro-climatic zones based on physiography, soils, geological formation, Climate, cropping patterns, and development of irrigation and mineral resources for broad agricultural planning and developing future strategies.
- Zone 1 – Western Himalayan Region: Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh
- Zone 2 – Eastern Himalayan Region: Assam, Sikkim, West Bengal and all North-Eastern states
- Zone 3 – Lower Gangetic Plains Region: West Bengal
- Zone 4 – Middle Gangetic Plains Region: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar
- Zone 5 – Upper Gangetic Plains Region: Uttar Pradesh
- Zone 6 – Trans-Gangetic Plains Region: Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan
- Zone 7 – Eastern Plateau and Hills Region: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal
- Zone 8 – Central Plateau and Hills Region: MP, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh
- Zone 9 – Western Plateau and Hills Region: Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan
- Zone 10 – Southern Plateau and Hills Region: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
- Zone 11 – East Coast Plains and Hills Region: Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry
- Zone 12 – West Coast Plains and Ghat Region: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra
- Zone 13 – Gujarat Plains and Hills Region: Gujarat
- Zone 14 – Western Dry Region: Rajasthan
- Zone 15 – The Islands Region: Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – An innovation by researchers from IIT Kanpur that can better protect power grids
- Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur have come up with an innovation that can help protect power grids against sudden, unexpected current surges.
- An innovative variation of the superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL), this smart SFCL not only shields the grid from large current surges and consequent fire accidents, it can also sense when the current surges will happen and warn the system about it.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – Study finds mechanism of blood clots after giving Oxford vaccine
- The journal Science Advances has revealed for the first time the mechanism responsible for blood clots arising from thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following vaccination with AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Thrombocytopenia syndrome causes low platelet count.
- A low number of platelets – blood cells that help prevent blood loss when vessels are damaged – can result in no symptoms or can lead to an increased risk of bleeding or, in some cases, clotting.
- Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome is a very rare serious adverse effect following vaccination using chimpanzee adenovirus Y25 (ChAdOx1), human adenovirus type 26 (HAdV-D26), and human adenovirus type 5 (HAdV-C5).
- AstraZeneca vaccine and the Indian counterpart Covishield use the chimpanzee adenovirus Y25, while Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses the human adenovirus type 26.
- The Sputnik vaccine uses both human adenovirus type 26 and human adenovirus type 5 as vectors to ferry the spike protein into certain cells.
- The researchers found that all three adenoviruses used in a few COVID-19 vaccines as vectors bind to platelet factor 4 (PF4). They found that adenoviruses form stable complexes with PF4.
What is Thrombosis?
- Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot, known as a thrombus, within a blood vessel. It prevents blood from flowing normally through the circulatory system.
- Blood clotting, also known as coagulation, is the body’s first line of defense against bleeding. When we hurt ourselves, our clotting system forms a “plug” or “seal” to protect us from losing too much blood.
- Our bodies often break down the clot after we’ve healed – but sometimes, clots form inappropriately or fail to dissolve after an injury. A blood clot that forms and stays in a blood vessel is called a thrombus.
- Other medical terms used to describe blood clots include:
- Thrombosis: When a thrombus forms in a blood vessel.
- Embolus or Embolism: A clot that detaches and travels through blood vessels to another part of the body.
Subject – Environment
Context – Research led by York University has shown that a species of honey producing bee called the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) most likely originated in Asia, settling the hotly debated topic for decades
- Research led by York University has shown that a species of honey-producing bee called the western honey bee (Apis mellifera) most likely originated in Asia, settling the hotly debated topic for decades.
- Until recently, it was believed that these bees had originated in Africa.
- The study (Science Advances) found that the western honey bees expanded independently from Asia into Africa and Europe creating seven separate geographically and genetically distinct evolutionary lineages traceable back to Western Asia.
- The western honey bee is used for crop pollination and honey production throughout most of the world, and has a remarkable capacity for surviving in vastly different environments – from tropical rainforest, to arid environments, to temperate regions with cold winters. It is native to Africa, Europe and Asia.
Subject – Science and Tech
Context – WHO has also recommended that certain commonly used COVID-19 detection tests, with ‘S-gene dropout’ capabilities, can be used to quickly screen for an Omicron infection.
- Tests usually look for three target genes related to parts of the virus: S (spike), N2 (nucleocapsid or inner area) and E (envelope or outer shell).
- The S-gene refers to the gene that codes for the spike protein, or the most distinctive part of the coronavirus. The SARS-CoV-2, like many other coronaviruses, has key protein-regions that define its structure: The envelope protein (E), the nucleocapsid protein(N), the membrane protein (M) and the spike protein (S).
- To accurately identify the virus, diagnostic tests are made that can identify characteristic genes that make these proteins.
- To maintain the balance between cost, turn-around time and efficiency, makers of diagnostic kits usually target 1-3 genes on these regions.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus incidentally has one of the largest genomes in the coronavirus family.
- One popular kit, called the TaqPath COVID¬19 assays, identifies three gene targets from three regions one of which is the S region to confirm or rule out the presence of the coronavirus.
- Some versions of the coronavirus, notably B.1.1.7, known as the Alpha variant, and the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), have characteristic amino acids missing on the S protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
- When tests designed to look for the ‘S’ gene encounter these coronaviruses with the missing amino acids, they show up as negative for the S gene and this is called the S Gene Targeted Failure or popularly S-gene drop out.
- Despite the negative ‘S’, the test will return positive in case of the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus because the genes on the ‘E’ and ‘N’ will likely signal a match.
- Some parts of the coronavirus are more conserved, or don’t change too much, and make for more reliable test targets.
- The spike protein can change a lot—the coronavirus is continually evolving, trying to adapt to antibodies created from vaccines or prior infections—and tests too must keep changing to find appropriate targets.
Subject – Economy
Context – NHAI gets new chairperson
- National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was set up under NHAI Act, 1988. It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
- It has been entrusted with the National Highways Development Project, along with other minor projects for development, maintenance and management.
- National Highways Development Project (NHDP) is a project to upgrade, rehabilitate and widen major highways in India to a higher standard. The project was started in 1998.
- NHAI maintains the National Highways network to global standards and cost effective manner and promotes economic well being and quality of life of the people.
- It has completed construction of 3,979 km of national highways in the financial Year 2019-20.
- NHAI has mandated development of about 27,500 km of national highways under Bharatmala Pariyojna Phase-I.
- HAI has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organisation for satellite mapping of highways.