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, 22nd May 2020

 

INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END OBSTETRIC FISTULA


Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Context

Marking the International Day on 23 May to end the almost entirely preventable condition, the head of the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, said that sufferers continue to “face devastating social stigma”.

 

About Obstetric fistula

  • Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious injuries that can occur during childbirth, leaving a hole between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum, caused by prolonged, obstructed labour, without treatment. 

  • It’s estimated that some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop worldwide every year, but most occur among women living in poverty in cultures where a woman’s status and self-esteem may depend almost entirely on marriage and her ability to bear children.  

  • The girls and women afflicted by the condition, which is preventable and largely treatable, are often plagued by chronic incontinence.

  • Sufferers often enduring depression, social isolation and deepening poverty, while many women live with the condition for years, because they cannot afford treatment. 

  • The average cost - including surgery, post-operative care and rehabilitation support - is around $300 per patient. 

  • Persistence of fistula “is a sign that health systems are failing to meet women’s essential needs”.

 

Source: United Nations.


 

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY


Focus: GS3.

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

Conserving the Diversity of Life - International Day for ...

Context

The International Day for Biodiversity is observed on May 22 to raise awareness on various issues related to threats that stare biodiversity in the face.

 

Background

  • The United Nations celebrates the International Day for Biological Diversity annually with a unique theme. 

  • The theme for the year 2020 is  "Our solutions are in nature" which emphasizes hope, solidarity and the importance of working together at all levels to build a future of life in harmony with nature.

 

About the day

  • The theme, according to the UN, has covered three "essential topics" during the week leading up to the observance: 18 May covered the importance of knowledge and science; 19-21 May raised awareness of the importance of biodiversity; and finally, the day of the observance, will issue a call to action.

  • 2020 is a year of reflection, opportunity, and solutions. It is expected, from each of us, that we will "Build Back Better" by using this time to increase the resilience of nations and communities as we recover from this pandemic.

  • The international organisation also warned that loss of biodiversity threatens us all, including our health. 


Source: NDTV.


BENGALURU ‘BOOM’


Focus: GS3.

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

 

Context

  • The ‘loud sound’ heard in Bengaluru which puzzled lakhs of city dwellers, was revealed to have emanated from an IAF test flight involving a supersonic profile. 

  • The sound effect caused due to such high-speed flights is known as ‘sonic boom’.

 

Background

  • The sonic boom was probably heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed between 36,000 and 40000 feet altitude.

  • In a statement, the Ministry of Defence’s PRO confirmed that the aircraft belonged to the Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment (ASTE) and had flown in allocated airspace outside city limits.

 

About the sonic boom

  • Sound travels in the form of waves which are emitted outwards from its source. 

  • In air, the speed of these waves depends on a number of factors, such as the temperature of the air and altitude.

  • From a stationary source, such as a television set, sound waves travel outwards in concentric spheres of growing radii.

  • When the source of sound is moving – e.g, a truck– the successive waves in front of the truck get closer together, and the ones behind it spread out. 

  • This is also the cause of the Doppler effect– in which bunched waves at the front appear at a higher frequency to a stationary observer, and spread out waves that are behind are observed at a lower frequency.

  • As long as the source of the sound keeps moving slower than the speed of sound itself, this source– say a truck or a plane – remains nested within the sound waves that are travelling in all directions.

 

Highlights

  • When an aircraft travels at supersonic speed – meaning faster than sound (>1225 kmph at sea level) – the field of sound waves moves to the rear of the craft. 

  • A stationary observer thus hears no sound when a supersonic flight approaches, since the sound waves are at the rear of the latter.

  • At such speeds, both newly created as well as old waves, are forced into a region at the aircraft’s rear called a ‘Mach cone’, which extends from the craft and intercepts the Earth in a hyperbola-shaped curve, and leaves a trail called the ‘boom carpet’. 

  • The loud sound that is heard on the Earth when this happens is called a ‘sonic boom’.

  • When such aircraft fly at a low altitude, the sonic boom can become intense enough to cause glass to crack or cause health hazards. 

  • Overland supersonic flights have thus been banned in many countries.

 

Source: Indian Express.


SPACE DEMO-2 MISSION


Focus: GS3.

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

Crew Demo-2 Mission | SpaceX

Context

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight will lift off for the International Space Station (ISS), becoming the first crewed flight to launch from American soil since the conclusion of the space shuttle era in 2011.

 

About the mission

  • The Demo-2 mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, and will see astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley fly on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. 

  • The craft will lift off from a Falcon 9 rocket, from Florida.

  • NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has worked with several American aerospace industry companies to facilitate the development of US human spaceflight systems since 2010, with the aim of developing reliable and cost-effective access to and from the ISS.

  • Essentially, the lift-off on May 27 is a flight test to certify if SpaceX’s crew transportation system can be used to ferry crew to and from the space station regularly.

  • This is the final flight test for the system and intends to validate its different components, including the spacecraft (Crew Dragon), the launch vehicle (Falcon 9), the launch pad (LC-39A) and the operations capabilities.

  • After its launch, the Crew Dragon will perform a series of phasing manoeuvres to gradually approach and autonomously dock with the ISS on May 28. 

  • After docking, the two astronauts will go aboard the ISS. 

  • They will perform tests of the Crew Dragon and conduct research with Expedition 63, the space station crew currently in residence at ISS.

  • The Crew Dragon spacecraft being used for this mission can stay in orbit for up to 110 days, though the specific duration is yet to be determined. 

  • If SpaceX spacecraft are used regularly, they will need to stay in orbit for a period of at least 210 days as per NASA’s requirements.

  • Once the mission is over, astronauts Behnken and Douglas will board the Crew Dragon, which will automatically undock, depart from the station and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

 

About the commercial crew program

  • The main objective of this program is to make access to space easier in terms of its cost, so that cargo and crew can be easily transported to and from the ISS, enabling greater scientific research.

  • Secondly, by encouraging private companies such as Boeing and SpaceX to provide crew transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA can focus on building spacecraft and rockets meant for deep space exploration missions.

  • Boeing and SpaceX were selected by NASA in September 2014 to develop transportation systems meant to transfer crew from the US to the ISS. 

  • “These integrated spacecraft, rockets and associated systems will carry up to four astronauts on NASA missions, maintaining a space station crew of seven to maximize time dedicated to scientific research on the orbiting laboratory,” the NASA website says.

 

Source: Indian Express.


ECOLOGICALLY SENSITIVE AREA (ESA) OF WESTERN GHATS


Focus: GS3.

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

Centre exempts 3,115 sq km from Ecologically Sensitive Areas in ...

Context

Union Minister of Environment interacted with Chief Ministers & State Government Officers of six states viz, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu to discuss issues relating to notification of Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) pertaining to the Western Ghats.

 

About the rules

  • To protect the biodiversity of Western Ghats while allowing for sustainable development of the region, the Government of India had constituted a High-Level Working Group under the Chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan.

  • The Committee had recommended that identified geographical areas falling in the six States of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu may be declared as Ecologically Sensitive Areas.

  • A draft notification was issued in October 2018 mentioning the areas to be notified in the ESA.

  • The states expressed their desire to expedite early notification while protecting the interest of ecology and environment. 


Source: PIB.


AGAPPE CHITRA MAGNA


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

  • The Government of India announced the commercial launch of Agappe Chitra Magna.

  • Agappe Chitra Magna is a magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction kit for use during testing for the detection of COVID-19.

 

About the device

  • It was developed by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum, an Institute of National Importance of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) along with Agappe Diagnostics Ltd, an in vitro diagnostics manufacturing company based in Cochin.

  • The commercial launch of the kit can help increase the rate of testing and bring down its costs, a crucial step for combating the pandemic.

 

About its working

  • It uses an innovative technology for isolating RNA using magnetic nanoparticles to capture the RNA from the patient sample.

  • The magnetic nanoparticle beads bind to the viral RNA and, when exposed to a magnetic field, give a highly purified and concentrated RNA.

  • As the sensitivity of the detection method is dependent on getting an adequate quantity of viral RNA, this innovation enhances the chances of identifying positive cases. 

 

Source: The Hindu.

 

UP STARTUP FUND

 

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.

Startup fund to get Rs 3,000 crore financing boost - The Economic ...

Context

Uttar Pradesh government has launched the ‘UP Startup Fund’ to encourage the youth of the state for entrepreneurship.


About the fund

  • Under it, the UP Chief Minister handed over the first installment of 15 crore rupees to Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).

  • A large number of migrant workers had come to the state and that they needed to be given jobs on the basis of their skills. 

  • The current emphasis on startups will solve their problems. 


Source: AIR.


Rht14; Rht18


Focus: GS3.

Topic: Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country, different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.

 

Context

Scientists at Pune based Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, have mapped two alternative dwarfing genes Rht14 and Rht18 in wheat.

 

Highlights

  • These genes are associated with better seedling vigour and longer coleoptiles (sheath protecting the young shoot tip).

  • They have mapped the dwarfing genes on chromosome 6A in durum wheat, and DNA-based markers were developed for a better selection of these genes in wheat breeding lines.

  • The DNA-based markers will help wheat breeders to precisely select wheat lines carrying these alternative dwarfing genes from a massive pool of wheat breeding lines.

  • These DNA based markers are being used at ARI for marker-assisted transfer of these genes in Indian wheat varieties, so as to make them suitable for sowing under rice stubble-retained conditions and dry environments.

  • Wheat lines with these alternative dwarfing genes, apart from reducing crop residue burning, can allow deeper sowing of wheat seeds to avail advantage of residual moisture in the soil under dry environments. 

 

Source: PIB.


Map of the Day–Latin America

Latin America Map | Map of Latin American Countries



Quote for the Day


“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”― Gautama Buddha

 

Mains Answer Writing


  1. Explain the dimension that Investment in public health yields returns for Economic development. (250 Words).

  2. Explain the border disputes between India and Nepal highlight the recent flashpoints, analyse and explain. (250 Words).

  3. Explain the prospects of AI applications in revolutionizing the mining sector. (250 Words).


Test your Knowledge



  1. Consider the following statements :

    1. Agappe Chitra Magna is a magnetic nanoparticle-based DNA extraction kit for use during testing for detection of COVID-19.

    2. It uses an innovative technology for isolating RNA using magnetic nanoparticles to capture the RNA from the patient sample.

    3. The magnetic nanoparticle beads bind to the viral RNA and, when exposed to a magnetic field, give a highly purified and concentrated RNA.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

    1. 1 and 2 only

    2. 2 and 3 only

    3. 1 and 3 only

    4. AOTA

 

  1. Consider the following statements with regard to the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana(PMVVY):

    1. PMVVY is a Pension Scheme announced by the Government of India exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years in 2017.

    2. The Scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India which has been given the sole privilege to operate this Scheme. 

    3. Aadhaar - the unique 8-digit biometric identity number, is mandatory for subscribers of Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY).

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 only

      2. 1 and 2 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the PM-KISAN scheme?

    1. It seeks to provide an annual grant of ₹6,000 to farmers in three installments.

    2. It is a central sponsored scheme.

    3. Farmers with less than 2 ha of land are eligible to get benefits under PM-KISAN.

Select the incorrect answer using the code given below:

 

      1. 1 and 2 only

      2. 1 and 3 only

      3. 2 and 3 only

      4. 1, 2 and 3

 

  1. The term ‘Maunder minimum’ recently seen in the news, is related to:

      1. Air quality

      2. Tropical cyclones

      3. Sunspot activity

      4. Super cyclone

 

  1. Rht14 and Rht18 genes recently in news is related to?

    1. Cotton

    2. Wheat

    3. Rice

    4. Jowar


Answers

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


 
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