Daily Analysis

An in-depth analysis of the best and most relevant editorials of the day from the best dailies known for civil services preparation.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS, 12th August2019

Software Defined Networking

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Context

  • Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a network architecture approach that enables the network to be intelligently and centrally controlled, using software applications.
  • SDN enables network behavior to be controlled by the software that resides beyond the networking devices that provide physical connectivity. 

Background

  • The monumental growth in multimedia content, the impact of increasing mobile usage, and increasing competition, pressurizes the business to reduce costs.
  • To keep pace, many global technology companies are turning to SDN technology to revolutionize network design and operations. 

Significance

  • By opening up traditionally closed network platforms and implementing a common SDN control layer, operators can manage the entire network and its devices consistently.
  • This will allow optimum use of resources.
  • By decoupling the hardware from the software, operators can introduce innovative, differentiated new services rapidly— free from the constraints of closed and proprietary platforms.
  • SDN architectures usher in a new era of openness—enabling multi-vendor interoperability.
  • SDN can manage the network efficiently, thereby improving the performance of Big Data applications.
  • SDN can greatly facilitate big data acquisition, transmission, storage and processing.
  • SDN too can benefit from big data, in terms of traffic engineering and countering security attacks. 

Issues related

  • Creating SDN architecture will be a difficult process for many small and mid range organizations. 
  • Thereby SDN will provide advantage to technology giants and thereby further augment global technological inequality.
  • There is much clamour about data privacy. In this context, SDN too will get into the data protection debate.

Source: The Hindu. 

Mercury emission versus its concentration in fishes

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Related image

Context

  • Recently researchers have found that despite a decrease in seawater concentration of methyl mercury, the amount of mercury found in fish is different among different species.
  • A joint research conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), Harvard University, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (a Canadian government agency) has found that though there has been a decrease in the levels of mercury emission, the concentration of mercury in fish varies across different species. 

Background

  • Some species of fish have less mercury than before, while others have a very high concentration of mercury (tuna, salmon and swordfish).
  • The researchers warn that human exposure to the toxin (methyl mercury) through fish consumption is bound to increase as a result of climate change. 

Highlights

  • Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water and soil.
  • Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, and is a threat to the development of the child in utero and early in life.
  • Mercury may have toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, and on lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes.
  • Mercury is considered by World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern.
  • People are mainly exposed to methyl mercury, (an organic compound) when they eat fish and shellfish and are more vulnerable to Minamata disease.

Source: The Hindu.

India’s First Ecotoxicology Clinic

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology-indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Context

  • Recently AIIMS, Delhi, launched a clinical ecotoxicology facility, a first-of-its-kind in India, to investigate increasing cases of diseases resulting from exposure to environmental toxins contaminating water, food and air.
  • The new facility will provide diagnostic consultation as well as research services to all the clinical departments dealing with diseases due to ecotoxicity.

About Ecotoxicology

  • It is that branch of science that deals with the nature, effects, and interactions of substances that are harmful to the environment, on ecological entities, i.e. populations, communities or ecosystems.
  • For example: Ecotoxicology will engage in knowing the origin of unknown factors of a certain rise in the number of cancer cases, even among those who don’t smoke.

Highlights

  • According to the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, contaminated water, air and soil are responsible for about nine million early deaths. 
  • About 92% of these deaths due to environmental toxicity occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which include India.

Source: The Hindu.

Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Image result for virasat-e-khalsa museum

Context

  • The Asia Book of Records has listed the Virasat-e-Khalsa museum in Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib as the most visited museum in the Asian sub-continent (on a single day).
  • The museum had witnessed a record footfall of 20,569 visitors on a single day 

Background

  • The Limca Book of Records and India Book of Records had also listed ‘Virasat-e-Khalsa’ as the country’s top-ranked museum in terms of the number of visitors.

Highlights

  • The museum has been conferred an award by the Punjab Energy Development Agency in state-level energy conservation competition, for cutting down electricity consumption.
  • The Virasat-e-Khalsa museum (the second most important Sikh shrine in Anandpur Sahib, after the Golden Temple complex) was built to commemorate 300 years of the founding of the 'Khalsa Panth' by the Guru Gobind Singh (10th Sikh guru).
  • Museum also helped grow the economy of Anandpur Sahib in Punjab.

Source: The Hindu. 

Status of Financial Creditors to Home Buyers

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Why in News?

  • The Supreme Court has confirmed the constitutional validity of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Act of August 2018, which gave home buyers the status of “financial creditors” with power to vote in the Committee of Creditors.

Background

  • The Amendment Act allowed home buyers, as financial creditors, to trigger bankruptcy proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) of 2016 and have their “rightful place” on the Committee of Creditors (CoC). 
  • The CoC, by voting, makes important decisions on the future of a bankrupt builder. 
  • These calls include what to do with his assets and who should finish the pending housing projects.

Highlights

  • As per the amendment, home buyers can initiate bankruptcy proceedings against errant real estate builders under section 7 of the IBC.
  • Before the Amendment Act of 2018 came into existence, the assets of the bankrupt builder were divided among his employees, creditor banks and other operational creditors. 
  • Home buyers had hardly figured, despite they finance from 50% to even 100% of a housing project.
  • Homebuyers now have the option to avail legal remedies before a consumer court, Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERA), as well as bankruptcy courts.

Source: The Hindu.

‘Uber for Tractors’: Government to launch app to aid farmers

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Technology missions.

Image result for ‘Uber for tractors’: Government to launch app to aid farmers

Context

  • “Uber for tractors” is a new app that’s being being described as the most wanted to farmers to have affordable access to cutting-edge technology at their doorsteps.
  • The new mobile app will efficiently connect farmers with custom hiring centres (CHCs) just like Uber connects us to cabs. 

About the app

  • There are now more than 38,000 custom hiring centres (CHCs) across the country, which rent out 2.5 lakh pieces of farm equipment every year.
  • The CHC app is already open for registrations by the farmers, societies and entrepreneurs who run these centres. 
  • So far, almost 26,800 CHCs have registered to offer more than one lakh pieces of equipment for hire.
  • Once the app is officially launched, farmers who wish to hire equipment can register using their names, addresses and mobile numbers, and then punch in their requirements. 

Significance

  • This will help farmers save precious groundwater and increase productivity by 10 to 15%.
  • Such hitech levellers cost at least ₹3 lakh, way beyond the reach of the average small farmer.
  • The Ministry’s app will also create an invaluable database for policy-makers, who can track the use and cost of equipment. 
  • The system would also help to track the usage of new technology that the government wants to promote, such as the Happy Seeder that aims to prevent stubble burning that causes air pollution, or solar dryers that can help farmers process and preserve their produce.
  • This was already done very successful demo runs in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.

Source: The Hindu.

Map of the Day–Kerala

Image result for kerala map

Quote for the Day

"Energy and persistence conquer all things." -Benjamin Franklin

Mains Answer Writing

1.What do you understand by Software Defined networking? Explain it’s significance.
2.Discuss how mercury emission has impacted on environment and human health.
3.Critically analyse the issue of ‘Ecotoxicology’.

 

Test your Knowledge

1. Consider the following statements 

1.Indian Rosewood is deciduous rosewood tree native to the Indian subcontinent.
2.The species grows at a very fast rate and has the capacity to become naturalised outside its native range.
3.Its IUCN Red List status is ‘endangered’.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above

2. Consider the following statements:

1.Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a network architecture approach that enables the network to be intelligently and centrally controlled, using software applications.
2.SDN enables network behavior to be controlled by the software that resides beyond the networking devices that provide physical connectivity.
3.SDN can manage the network efficiently, thereby improving the performance of Big Data applications. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 

3. Consider the following statements:

1.The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury and its compounds.
2.Methylmercury is used as a preservative in some vaccines and does not pose a health risk.
3.The disease is characterized by peripheral sensory loss, tremors, dysarthria, ataxia, and both hearing and visual loss.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

a) 1 and 2 only

b) 2 and 3 only

c) 1 and 3 only

d) All of the above 

4.India’s first Ecotoxicology clinic is started in?

a.IISc, Bangalore
b.IIT, Mumbai
c.AIIMS, Delhi
d.IIT, Chennai 

5.Who is popularly known as ‘Grand old lady’ of the Independence movement?

a.Sarojini Naidu
b.Aruna Asaf Ali
c.Kasturba Gandhi
d.Vijayalakshmi Pandit

Answers

  1. A 2.D 3.C 4.C 5.B