Monday, 10th April 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day

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LIGO-India - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Daily Current Affairs

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Management of India Solar PV waste

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Autoimmune Diseases - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhism

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Copyright act of 1957 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Invasive species in Gulf of Mannar

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Advance Pricing Agreement and Types

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China Japan Setup Military Hotline

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Standup India Scheme - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Biotech KISAN Scheme - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India Achieve 100% Rice Fortification

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Editorial of the day

LIGO-India - Edukemy Current Affairs


Exam View: LIGO India Project, Evolution of theory of Gravitation, Working of LIGO, Significance of LIGO India project

In News: Union Cabinet approved a project to build an advanced gravitational wave detector called the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), in Hingoli district of Maharashtra. The facility’s construction is expected to be completed by 2030.

About LIGO- India Project:

  • LIGO is an international network of laboratories that detect the ripples in spacetime produced by the movement of large celestial objects like stars and planets.
  • LIGO-India is a collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory (operated by Caltech and MIT in the US) and three Institutes in India.
  • It will be built by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and DST, with a memorandum of understanding with the National Science Foundation, the US, along with several national and international research and academic institutions.

Evolution of theory of Gravitation:

  • Newton’s theory of gravitation: Newton proposed that every celestial body exerted an attractive force on every other body in the universe.
    • However Newton’s law could not explain the reason for existence of gravitational forces and violated Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, (nothing could travel faster than speed of light) as Gravitational force seemed to propagate instantaneously, over large distances, without any delay.
  • Einstein’s Theory of Relativity states that space and time were not independent entities but were woven together as space time.
    • Gravitation is just the curvature in spacetime. Spacetime is curved around the heavier mass and other nearby objects moving in straight lines in their spacetime, find themselves going around the central mass.
    • The heavier the mass in the centre, the steeper and bigger is the curvature in spacetime, and stronger and more extended is the gravitational field.
    • Matter tells spacetime how to curve and spacetime tells matter how to move. The experience of a pull towards the central mass happens at the speed of light

Working of LIGO:

  • LIGO is used to measure these tiny effects of gravitational waves and consists of two 4-km-long vacuum chambers, built perpendicular to each other. Highly reflective mirrors are placed at the end of the vacuum chambers.
  • Light rays are released simultaneously in both the vacuum chambers which hit the mirrors, get reflected, and are captured back.
  • In normal circumstances, the light rays in both the chambers would return simultaneously. But when a gravitational wave arrives, one of the chambers gets a little elongated, while the other one gets squished resulting in a phase difference of arriving light rays.
  • This presence of phase difference marks the detection of gravitational waves.

Significance of LIGO India:

  • Brings India as an active collaborator in a number of international science projects such as Large Hadron Collider experiments.
  • The project promises huge spin-off benefits for its science and technology
  • It gives a more precise measurement and understanding of how fast the universe is expanding.

Source:

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-sci-tech/ligo-india-global-network-labs-study-gravitational-waves-8545293/

Keywords: GS 3-Scientific Innovations & Discoveries
Daily Current Affairs

Management of India Solar PV waste


In News: India is expected to become one of the top five leading photovoltaic waste producers globally by 2050.

About

  • Photo-Voltaic waste: The electronic waste that is produced when solar panels are discarded is known as Photo-Voltaic waste. Within this waste, there may be hazardous materials such as heavy metals like cadmium, copper, lead, antimony, and selenium. In India, this waste is sold as scrap. However, it is expected to increase by a minimum of four to five times over the next ten years. It is crucial for India to prioritize the creation of comprehensive regulations to manage the disposal of solar waste effectively.
  • Solar Photo-Voltaic Composition: The majority of India's solar photovoltaic (PV) installations are based on crystalline silicon (c-Si) technology. A standard PV panel comprises c-Si modules (93%) and cadmium telluride thin-film modules (7%). A c-Si module is primarily composed of silicon wafers, copper wires, an encapsulant, a back sheet, an aluminum frame, and a glass sheet. To manufacture c-Si modules, silver, tin, and lead are utilized. Conversely, the thin-film module comprises compound semiconductors, an encapsulant, and glass.
  • PV Waste Status in India: Globally, India has the world’s fourth-highest solar PV deployment. The installed solar capacity was nearly 62GW in November 2022. This leads to a huge amount of solar PV waste. According to a 2016 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, India could generate 50,000-3,25,000 Tonnes of PV waste by 2030 and more than four million Tonnes by 2050.

Recycling of PV Panels

  • When PV panels reach the end of their lifespan, some parts of the frame are removed and sold as scrap, while junctions and cables are recycled following e-waste guidelines.
  • The glass laminate is partly recycled, and the module can be burned in cement furnaces to extract silicon and silver. However, only around 50% of the total materials can be recovered, and generally, only 20% of the waste is appropriately managed, with the remaining being informally processed.
  • This growing informal handling of PV waste has led to waste accumulation at landfills, polluting the surroundings. Incinerating the encapsulant also releases sulphur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, and hydrogen cyanide into the atmosphere.

Challenges in Managing PV Waste

  • Informal Handling: Despite some portions of the PV panels being extracted and recycled, a significant portion of the waste is treated informally, leading to the accumulation of waste in landfills and polluting the surroundings.
  • Limited market for PV waste: The market to reuse recycled PV waste is currently extremely small in India due to a lack of suitable incentives and schemes in which businesses can invest. The lack of central insurance or regulatory body to protect against financial losses incurred in waste collection and treatment.
  • No Specific Guidelines for PV Waste Treatment: Need for specific provisions for PV waste treatment within e-waste guidelines to avoid confusion.
  • Classified as Hazardous Waste: The waste generated from PV modules and their components is classified as ‘hazardous waste’ in India. Conducting awareness campaigns and sensitization programs about managing PV waste can help people understand the importance of properly handling hazardous waste.
  • Limited Manufacturing of PV in India: India needs to pay more attention to domestic R&D efforts as depending on a single module type will dis-uniformly deplete certain natural resources and stunt the local capacity for recycling and recovery of critical materials.

It is encouraging that the latest production-linked incentive scheme promotes the domestic manufacturing of high-efficiency solar photovoltaic modules. Considering the rate at which these panels are being installed around the country, India is expected to generate an enormous amount of waste over the next 15-20 years. Now is the right time for it to install clear policy directives, well-established recycling strategies, and greater collaboration, so that it doesn’t find itself neck-deep in a new problem in future.

 

https://epaper.thehindu.com/ccidist-ws/th/th_delhi/issues/30551/OPS/GLCB2420V.1+G3UB249F9.1.html

 

Keywords: GS -3 Environment and Ecology
Daily Current Affairs

Autoimmune Diseases - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Evidence suggests that obese individuals have a higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes.

About

  • An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body's immune system attacks and damages its own tissues, mistaking them as foreign invader Normally, the immune system recognizes and attacks only foreign substances, such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. However, in autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks healthy cells, tissues, and organs.
  • There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and psoriasis, among others. These diseases can affect various parts of the body, including the joints, skin, blood vessels, organs, and connective tissues.
  • Autoimmune means our immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and our body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These auto-antibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

Type of Autoimmune Disorder

  • Organ-specific disease (involving only one organ) in which the immune response is directed toward antigens present in a single organ. Examples are autoimmune thyroiditis, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, Diabetes Mellitus Type I, etc.
  • Systemic disease in which the immune system attacks self-antigens in several organsg. systemic lupus erythematosus is characterized by inflammation of the skin, mucus membranes, joints, kidneys, brain, intestines, etc.

Risk Factors

  • Genetic: Some autoimmune diseases run in families, but it doesn’t mean that Autoimmune Diseases are hereditary.
  • Environmental factors: like sunlight, certain chemicals (pesticides, pristane, mercury, silica, etc), cigarette smoking, air pollution, and viral or bacterial infections.
  • Gender: Women are genetically predisposed to Autoimmune Diseases because of their sex hormones and the X chromosome.
  • Smoking: It is a proven risk factor for the development of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, primary biliary cirrhosis, etc.
  • Obesity: The relationship between obesity, adipokines (compounds secreted by the fat tissue), and immune-related conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, type-1 diabetes, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Hashimoto thyroiditis has been known.
  • Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D is known to modulate immune responses. Its deficiency is found to be associated with an increased risk of loss of immune tolerance.
  • Stress: A few studies have proven the link between stress and autoimmunity.

Symptoms

The symptoms of autoimmune diseases can vary widely depending on the specific disease and the affected organs or tissues. However, some common symptoms of autoimmune diseases include

Fatigue and weakness, Joint pain and stiffness, Skin rashes and irritation, Fever, Muscle pain and weakness, Abdominal pain and digestive issues, Unexplained weight loss or gain, Hair loss or thinning, Swollen glands and Difficulty concentrating or memory problems.

Treatment:

The treatment of autoimmune diseases depends on the specific disease and its severity. There is no cure for most autoimmune diseases, but treatment can help manage symptoms, reduce inflammation, and slow the progression of the disease. The following are some common treatments for autoimmune diseases:

  • Immunosuppressive drugs: These drugs work by suppressing the immune system to prevent it from attacking healthy tissues. Examples include corticosteroids, methotrexate, and cyclosporine.
  • Biologic drugs: These drugs are designed to target specific components of the immune system that are involved in the autoimmune response. Examples include TNF inhibitors, interleukin inhibitors, and B-cell inhibitors.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These drugs help relieve pain and inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
  • Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your diet, exercise habits, and stress management can help improve your overall health and reduce the severity of autoimmune disease symptoms.
  • Alternative therapies: Some people with autoimmune diseases find relief through complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and meditation.

 

Source:

https://epaper.thehindu.com/ccidist-ws/th/th_delhi/issues/31798/OPS/GTHB3CCGD.1+GE2B3CM18.1.html

 

Keywords: GS –3 Science & Technology, Human Health & Diseases
Daily Current Affairs

Reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhism


In News: The Dalai Lama has named a US-born Mongolian boy as the 10th Khalkha Jetsun Dhampa, the head of the Janang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and the Buddhist spiritual head of Mongolia.

About Tibetan Buddhism:

  • Buddhism in Tibet emerged in 9th century AD and evolved from the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions of Buddhism, as well as the Bon religion of Tibet prevalent before Buddhism’s arrival.
  • The Janang school (12th century) is one of the smaller schools that grew as an offshoot of the Sakya school.
  • Gelug School has been the predominant school of Tibetan Buddhism since 1640 and the Dalai Lama belongs to this school.
  • The fifth grand lama of Gelug school, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, was conferred the title of Dalai Lama (‘Dalai’ being the Mongol word for ‘ocean’)
  • He instituted the tradition of succession through reincarnation in the Gelug School, himself claiming to be the reincarnation of Avalokiteshvara.
  • According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the spirit of a deceased lama is reborn in a child. The selection of the next Dalai Lama involves guidance by the predecessor regarding his reincarnation.
  • The prospective child then has to undergo multiple ‘tests’ in which they ‘recall’ their past lives and recognise objects that their predecessor used, such as spectacles, prayer beads, etc.
  • China has tried to meddle with the process of recognition of the next Dalai Lama for long, in order to establish its cultural hegemony in the Tibetan region.
  • They have passed a rule that reincarnation applications must be filed by all Buddhist temples in that country before they are allowed to recognise individuals as tulkus (recognised reincarnations).

 

Source: 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/dalai-lama-reincarnation-succession-china-8525467/

Keywords: GS-2 India and its Neighbourhood
Keywords: GS-3 Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)
Daily Current Affairs

Invasive species in Gulf of Mannar


In News: According to an avian distribution study, the native vegetation and biodiversity in the Gulf of Mannar are under threat from an alien invasive plant, Prosopis chilensis.

About the Prosopis chilensis:

  • Prosopis chilensis, a drought-resistant plant native to the arid regions of four South American countries namely Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.
  • It is a small to medium-sized legume tree and has a shallow and spreading root system. It is a common ruderal weed, either growing singly or in groups.
  • This species is threatening to pulverise indigenous plants across the 21 islands where 96 species of birds have been recorded.

Significance of Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve (GoMBR):

  • The GoMBR, India’s first marine biosphere reserve, is one of the important habitats for coastal birds migrating as far as the Arctic Circle.
  • The area is of particular significance as the 21 islands also serve as resting places for birds migrating to and from the nearby Sri Lankan islands.
  • The highest number of water bird species, inclusive of waders, ducks, terns, gulls, egrets, and herons, were found on Manoli Island of the Kilakkarai group.
  • Corals, seagrass, and mangroves are among the three unique ecosystems present on the islands

Threats to GoMBR:

  • Human settlements, though not permanent, have also impacted the islands such as Poomarichan, Pullivasa, and Manoliputti in the Mandapam group.
  • Other threats to the Gulf of Mannar include destruction of coral reefs in several places near these islands, despite the banning of coral quarrying for industrial purposes.
  • Furthermore, Kappaphycus alvarezii, a seaweed species deliberately introduced for commercial cultivation some two decades ago, is a primary reason for coral destruction.

 

Source:

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/triple-trouble-for-gulf-of-mannar-islands-study-finds/article66692147.ece

Keywords: GS-3: Environmental Pollution & Degradation, Conservation
Daily Current Affairs

Advance Pricing Agreement and Types


In News: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into a record 95 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) in FY 2022-23 with Indian taxpayers.

About Advance Pricing Agreement:

  • An APA is an agreement between a taxpayer and the tax authority determining the Transfer Pricing methodology for pricing the tax payer’s international transactions for future years.
  • Transfer pricing refers to the prices of goods and services that are exchanged between companies under common control i.e. entities that are ultimately controlled by a single parent corporation.
  • MNCs use transfer pricing as a method of allocating profits among their various subsidiaries within the organisation.
  • An APA provides certainty with respect to the tax outcome of the tax payer’s international transactions. APA in India was launched in 2012 vide the Finance Act, 2012.
  • An APA can be of the three types namely Unilateral, bilateral and multilateral.

Significance of APA:

  • APA has contributed significantly to India’s mission of promoting ease of doing business, especially for MNCs which have a large number of cross-border transactions within their group entities.
  • APA strengthens the government’s resolve of fostering a non-adversarial tax regime.
  • APA endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and determining the arm’s length price of international transactions in advance for a maximum of five future years.

 

Source: 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1912685#:~:text=The%20Central%20Board%20of%20Direct,32%20Bilateral%20APAs%20(BAPAs)

Keywords: GS-2: Government policies and interventions
Daily Current Affairs

China Japan Setup Military Hotline


In News: China and Japan have recently set up a military hotline to manage maritime, air incidents over disputed islands.

About

  • China and Japan set up a military hotline to manage and control incidents arising due to their aggressive patrolling of the disputed waters in the East China Sea.
  • The establishment of the direct telephone line will enrich the communication channels between the defence departments of China and Japan.
  • It will strengthen the capabilities of the two sides to manage and control maritime and air crises besides helping further to maintain regional peace and stability.
  • China is critical of the Quad alliance comprising the US, India, Japan, and Australia, saying that it is aimed at containing its rise.
  • Taiwan, a self-ruled island claimed by China as a rebel province, also claims the islands but has forged agreements with Japan to avoid any conflict as Japan maintains close defence ties with Taipei.

QUAD

  • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, commonly known as the QUAD, is an informal strategic forum comprising four democracies in the Indo-Pacific region including USA, Japan, India, and Australia.
  • It seeks to ensure maritime security, promote economic prosperity and sustainable development, and uphold the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the region.
  • They have conducted joint military exercises, such as the Malabar exercises, to enhance maritime security and interoperability.
  • The QUAD has been criticized by China as an attempt to contain its rise in the region besides exacerbating tensions and trigger a new arms race in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/china-japan-set-up-military-hotline-maritime-air-incidents-disputed-islands-8531149/

Keywords: GS-2, International Relation
Daily Current Affairs

Standup India Scheme - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: The Ministry of Finance has recently sanctioned loans worth more than Rs. 40,700 crores to over 1,80,630 accounts under the Stand-Up India Scheme in seven years.

About Stand-Up India:

  • The Stand-Up India scheme was launched on April 5, 2016, and has been extended until 2025.
  • The scheme is based on the third pillar of the National Mission for Financial Inclusione., "Funding the unfunded."
  • It aims to promote entrepreneurship among women, SC, and STs, to help them start greenfield enterprises in manufacturing, services, trading sectors, and activities related to agriculture.
  • The scheme aims to provide loans of 10 lakh to Rs.100 lakh to at least one SC/ST borrower and at least one woman borrower per bank branch of Scheduled Commercial Banks.
  • The loan can be availed by eligible entrepreneurs above 18 years of age who have not defaulted to any bank/financial institution.
  • For non-individual enterprises, 51% of shareholding and controlling stake should be held by SC/ST and/or women
  • To facilitate scheme, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has developed an online portal www.standupmitra.in to provide guidance to prospective entrepreneurs.
  • The scheme has been instrumental in improving the standards of living with more than 80% of loans given under this scheme being provided to women.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1913705

 

Keywords: GS-3 Economy
Daily Current Affairs

Biotech KISAN Scheme - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News: Ministry of Science & Technology has recently released reports on Biotech-KISAN scheme highlighting that over 1 lakh 60,000 farmers benefited in 2022.

About

  • Biotech-Krishi Innovation Science Application Network (Biotech-KISAN) scheme was initiated by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology in 2017.
  • It aims to empower farmers, particularly women farmers and provides simple solutions to problems related to water, soil, seed, and market by linking available science and technology to farms.
  • It is implemented in 15 agro-climatic zones of India in a phased manner and aims to connect farmers globally, impacting locally.
  • It aims to establish a hub-and-spoke model and includes Mahila Biotech-KISAN fellowships for training and education in farm practices for women farmers.
  • The program consists of three components: Biotech-KISAN hubs in each agro-climatic zone, partnering institutes, and research projects.
  • The partnering institutes will conduct training programs for farmers and scientists besides counselling and demonstrations to farmers including improved seed, planting stock of vegetables.
  • It will also provide inputs for use of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR’s)/bio-fertilizers, irrigation & protected cultivation technologies, improved livestock (goat, pig), poultry and fishery.

 

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1914184

 

Keywords: GS -3 Science and Technology
Daily Current Affairs

India Achieve 100% Rice Fortification


In News: Union Government has recently notified data on rice procurement by states for distributing fortified rice, Integrated child development service and second phase of PM POSHAN programme.

About

  • A total of 27 states have started distributing fortified rice under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), achieving a 100% target set for phase II by March 2023 in Rice Fortification Programme.
  • The total quantity of fortified rice lifted in 2022-23 has increased to 134 lakh tonnes which also includes 105 lakh tonnes of fortified rice for PDS rice
  • Nearly 29 lakh tonnes was lifted by states, as well as for the integrated child development service (ICDS) and second phase of PM POSHAN programme.
  • The first phase had covered ICDS and PM POSHAN and was implemented during 2021-22 and nearly 17.51 lakh tonnes had been distributed in the states.
  • There has been more than 11 times increase in cumulative blending capacity from 13.67 LMT to 156 LMT.
  • The cumulative annual fortified rice kernel manufacturing capacity has increased more than 18 folds from 0.9 lakh tonne in 2021 to 17 lakh tonne in 2023.

 

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/269-districts-in-27-states-distribute-105-lakh-tonnes-of-fortified-rice-under-tpds-in-phase-ii-of-rice-fortification-programme-achieves-100-target-11680784256757.html

Keywords: GS-3 Economy, Science and Technology
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