Daily Prelims Notes 7 June 2021
- June 7, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
7 June 2021
Table Of Contents
- NEW VARIANT T478K: MOSTLY FOUND IN MEXICO, ALSO FOUND IN EUROPE
- CONSUMER CONFIDENC SURVEY
- MORE ANTIBODIES PRODUCED BY COVISHIELD THAN COVAXIN: STUDY
- NPR SLIPS VALID FOR LONG TERM VISA: MHA
- PUNJAB, TN, KERALA TOPS IN EDUCATION INDEX RANKING
- ISRO DEVELOPS 3 TYPES OF VENTILATORS
- CHEMICAL WEAPONS USED IN SYRIA
- SIDBI INVITES BID TO SET UP NaBFID
- RULE 80-A OF THE CENTRAL CIVIL SERVICE (PENSION) RULES, 1972
- POWER MINISTRY CIRCULATED DISCUSSION PAPER ON MBED
- T CELL IMMUNITY IS NOT MEASURED IN THE RECENT STUDY
- NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SCIENCE MUSEUMS (NCSM)
- NICLOSAMIDE FOR COVID TREATMENT
Subject: Science & tech
Context: An analysis of more than one million SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences has led to the identification of a new variant that, over the past weeks, has been spreading mostly in Mexico but has also been found in Europe.
- Biotechnologists of the University of Bologna have published their paper in the Journal of Medical Virology, describing the new variant, whose scientific name is T478K. Like other strains, this presents a mutation in the spike protein.
- This variant represents 52.8% of all sequenced coronaviruses in Mexico, whereas in the US it shows up only in 2.7% of the sequenced samples.
- 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.
Subject: Important Surveys / Reports
Context: The latest Consumer Confidence Survey has shown that the Indian consumer sentiment has hit an all-time low.
- The RBI conducts this survey every couple of months by asking households in 13 major cities about their current perceptions and future expectations on a wide variety of economic variables.
- Based on these specific responses, the RBI constructs two indices. One, the Current Situation Index (CSI) and two, Future Expectations Index (FEI).
- The CSI maps how people view their current situation (on income, employment etc.) vis a vis a year ago.
- The FEI maps how people expect the situation to be (on the same variables) a year from now.
- CSI has fallen to an all-time low of 48.5 in May. The future expectations index (FEI) also moved to the pessimistic territory for the second time since the onset of the pandemic.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Seropositivity rates to anti-spike antibody were significantly higher in Covishield recipients compared to Covaxin after the first dose, the study claimed.
- This ongoing, Pan-India, Cross-sectional, Coronavirus Vaccine-induced Antibody Titre (COVAT) study is being conducted amongst HCW, with or without past history of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike binding antibody is being assessed quantitatively at four time points between 21 days or more after the first dose to 6 months after the second dose, the study said.
- Antibodies are also called immunoglobulins or Ig. They are Y-shaped proteins made by your immune system’s B lymphocytes or B cells.
- B cells attack and eliminate viruses and other toxins outside the cell. They do this by making specific antibodies for a single type of antigen.
- These tailored antibodies lock on to their specific antigens and tag them for attack. Antibodies also block these antigens, keeping them away from your healthy cells. Ultimately, antibodies kill these antigens, stopping infection.
The main types of antibodies (immunoglobulins) include:
- These are the most abundant types of antibodies in your plasma. They detoxify harmful substances and provide long-term protection.
- These are the first antibodies made by B cells in response to antigens.
- These antibodies collect antigens and remove them from your body in your mucus or other body fluids.
- These antibodies trigger allergies and protect against parasites. Small amounts are in your skin, lungs, and mucosal membranes.
- These antibodies bind to B cells and signal them to release IgM antibodies.
- Each antibody guards against its target antigen and many types of antibodies are found throughout your body. They play a vital role in your body’s defense against illness and disease.
- Antigens, or immunogens, are substances or toxins in your blood that trigger your body to fight them.
- Antigens are usually bacteria or viruses, but they can be other substances from outside your body that threaten your health. This battle is called an immune response.
Context: Migrants belonging to the six non-Muslim minority communities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, while applying for long-term visas (LTVs), can also produce National Population Register (NPR) enrolment slips as proof of duration of their stay in India, according to a Union Home Ministry manual.
- The NPR number is part of an illustrative list of more than 10 documents that could be provided to apply for an LTV.
- It is a precursor to acquiring Indian citizenship either by naturalisation or registration under Section 5 and 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, for the six communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — from the three countries.
- The special provision of LTVs for Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Afghanistan was first made in 2011.
Long term visa (LTV)
- For foreigners of non-Indian origin, a longer-term visa is classed as one that permits the holder to stay in India for longer than 180 days (six months) continuously.
- The main visas that provide this are the Employment, Entry and Student visas.
Context: Recently, the Union Minister of Education has released the Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20 for states and union territories.
About Performance Grading Index (PGI)
- It is a set of 70 parameters to catalyse transformational change in the field of school education.
- It was first published in 2019 with reference year 2017-18.
- It is designed by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL).
Key Highlights of Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20
- Punjab, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Kerala occupy the highest grade (Grade A++) for 2019-20.
- Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Puducherry, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have improved overall PGI score by 10%, i.e., 100 or more points.
Significance of Performance Grading Index (PGI)
- It envisages that the index would propel States and UTs towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions that will bring about the much-desired optimal education outcomes.
- It helps the States/UTs to pinpoint the gaps and accordingly prioritise areas for intervention to ensure that the school education system is robust at every level.
- It is expected to act as a good source of information for best practices followed by States and UTs which can be shared.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: The Indian Space Research Organisation has developed three types of ventilators, and has come forward to transfer the technology to industry for clinical usage as the country battles the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
- A low-cost and portable critical care ventilator, ‘PRANA’ (“Programmable Respiratory Assistance for the Needy Aid’) is based on the automated compression of an AMBU (Artificial Manual Breathing unit) bag.
- The system has a sophisticated control system that includes airway pressure sensor, flow sensor, oxygen sensor, servo actuator as well as expiration and PEEP (Positive End Expiratory Pressure) control valves,
- ISRO said PRANA supports both invasive and non- invasive ventilation modes and is capable of giving mandatory breaths (controlled by ventilator) as well as spontaneous breaths (controlled by the patient).
- The ICU grade positive pressure mechanical ventilator titled ‘VaU’ (abbreviation of Ventilation assist Unit) can assist or replace the spontaneous breathing in patients under respiratory distress, ISRO said.
- VaU is based on a centrifugal blower which draws in filtered ambient air, compresses it and delivers it to the patient to achieve ventilation and can therefore operate without a compressed pneumatic source.
- Provision is also given in the ventilator to connect a high pressure oxygen source, from which oxygen is metered automatically, to achieve the desired oxygen concentration (FiO2) in the inspiratory flow.
- Gas-powered ventilator ‘Space Ventilator Aided System for Trauma Assistance (SVASTA)’, a basic mode for non- invasive ventilation, is well-suited for emergency use for first line treatment and as transit ventilators inside vehicles, according to ISRO.
- The basic design is simple, and the components can be easily mass produced for emergency use in pandemic like situations.
- This ventilator, which runs on compressed air, is able to perform various ventilation conditions using manual mechanical settings.
Subject: International Conventions
Context: Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has told the United Nations Security Council that it investigated 77 allegations against Syria, and concluded in 17 cases chemical weapons were likely or definitely used.
- Syria was pressed to join the chemical weapons convention in 2013 by its close ally Russia after a deadly chemical weapons attack that the West blamed on Damascus.
- In 2014, President Bashar al-Assad’s government declared that the destruction of its chemical weapons was completed.
- But Syria’s initial declaration to the OPCW has remained in dispute.
- In April 2021, the OPCW suspended Syria’s rights until all outstanding issues are resolved.
OrganisationFor The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
- OPCW is an intergovernmental organisation and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997.
- Mandate: It oversees the global endeavour to permanently and verifiably eliminate chemical weapons.
- Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands.
- Member states: 193 (All states party to the CWC are automatically members. 4 UN Member States are non-members: Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan. Of these Israel signed CWC but didn’t ratified it, rest 3 are non-signatories).
- Nobel Peace Prize: The organisation was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons with most recent being in Syria civil war”.
- The OPCW–The Hague Award: It is an annual award founded by the OPCW as a result of their being presented with the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. The Award honours individuals and institutions that have significantly contributed towards the goal of a world free of chemical weapons.
Subject : National Organizations
Context : SIDBI on behalf of the government has floated Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting bids from consultants to help set up Rs 20,000 crore DFI called National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) to catalyse investment in fund-starved infrastructure sector.
- Parliament in March cleared National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) Bill 2021 to support the development of long-term non-recourse infrastructure financing in India, including the development of the bonds and derivatives markets necessary for infrastructure financing.
- The objective of the assignment is to select a management consultant to support in the setting up of an infra Development Finance Institution (DFI), as an All-India Financial Institution (AIFI) to provide, enable and catalyse infrastructure financing, the RFP said.
- The Infra DFI is being established through an Act of Parliament as a statutory body.
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
- SIDBI is the principal development financial institution for promotion, financing and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in India.
- It was established on April 2, 1990 through an Act of Parliament (thus, it is statutory body).
- It is headquartered in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
- SIDBI aims to facilitate and strengthen credit flow to MSMEs and address both financial and developmental gaps in MSME eco-system across the country.
- It co-ordinates functions of institutions engaged in similar activities.
- Currently, the shares of SIDBI are held by Central Government and 29 other institutions including public sector banks (PSBs), insurance companies owned and controlled by Central Government.
Subject : Governance
Context :The Union government has written to all Ministries relaxing the norms for disbursing pension to families of deceased employees considering their urgent need of funds for their livelihood during covid-19.
- The authorities have been told to disburse the provisional family pension immediately after receiving the claim with a death certificate.
- Stating that the completion of the process for sanction of family pension and its disbursement through the bank could take some time, the department cited provisions under Rule 80-A of the Central Civil Service (Pension) Rules, 1972.
- This rule provided for payment of provisional family pension and also provisional death gratuity, without waiting for forwarding of the family pension case to Pay & Accounts Office (PAO).
Subject : Economy
Context : Ministry of Power has circulated discussion Paper on Market Based Economic Despatch (MBED) on 1st June 2021 to all concerned stakeholders for obtaining their inputs and comments.
- Since electricity cannot be stored in power lines, the entity operating the power grid must continuously adjust the output of its power plants to meet electricity demand. This process is called the “dispatch” of power plants.
- The existing electricity scheduling and despatch mechanisms in the country are siloed and the day-ahead procedures result in sub-optimal utilization of the country’s generating resources.
- It has been observed that the states very often end up committing and utilizing costlier generation plants, while cheaper generation plants are not fully scheduled / utilized across the country.
- MBED will ensure that the cheapest generating resources across the country are despatched to meet the overall system demand.
- This will be a win-win for both the distribution companies and the generators and ultimately result in an estimated annual savings in excess of INR 12,000 crores for the electricity consumers. MBED shall also facilitate larger integration of variable renewable energy
- Implementing Market Based Economic Despatch (MBED) will ensure a “One Nation, One Grid, One Frequency, One Price” framework.
- It has been suggested to implement MBED in phases.
- The Ministry of Power intends to implement Phase 1 of MBED from 1 April 2022.
- The first phase of MBED would involve only the thermal fleet of central generating stations to test the efficacy of the mechanism and allow for necessary infrastructure and systems to be built out and tested before scale-up.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: T cell immunity was not measured in the recent study of healthcare workers (HCW) in India.
- T cells (also called T lymphocytes) are one of the major components of the adaptive immune system.
- Their roles include directly killing infected host cells, activating other immune cells, producing cytokines and regulating the immune response.
- There are two major types of T cells: the helper T cell and the cytotoxic T cell.
- As the names suggest, helper T cells ‘help’ other cells of the immune system, whilst cytotoxic T cells kill virally infected cells and tumours.
Subject : Culture
Context : National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) is collaborating with the Science Museum Group, London for an international travelling exhibition ‘Hunt for the Vaccine’. The exhibition will tell the story of the global effort to find new ways to develop vaccines and look at vaccinations more broadly with a historical and contemporary view.
- National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) is a premiere institution in the field of science communication.
- It is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.
- It is Headquartered in Kolkata.
- It was established in 1978.
- It is primarily engaged in popularizing Science and Technology through a network of science centres and Mobile Science Exhibitions (MSE) units that visit rural schools.
- Presently NCSM administers and manages 25 science museums/centres spread across the country and is the “world’s largest network of science centres and museums that functions under a single administrative umbrella” with an annual reach to about 15 million people.
Subject: Science & tech
Context: Recently, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in collaboration with Laxai Life Sciences began the phase-II clinical trials of the Niclosamide drug for treatment of Covid-19.
- It is an orally bioavailable chlorinated salicylanilide, with anthelmintic and potential antineoplastic activity.
- It is an antihelminthic used for the treatment of tapeworm infections.
- It has been extensively used in past for treatment of tapeworm’s infection in adults as well as children.
- It is also used as a molluscicide in the control of schistosomiasis.
- It appears to be minimally absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract because neither the drug nor its metabolites have been recovered from the blood or urine.
- It is caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae.
- If certain tapeworm eggs are ingested, they can migrate outside intestines and form larval cysts in body tissues and organs (invasive infection).
- An adult tapeworm consists of a head, neck and chain of segments called proglottids.
- Intestinal tapeworm infections are usually mild, with only one or two adult tapeworms but invasive larval infections can cause serious complications.