Friday, 28th October 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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Partial Solar Eclipse 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Pillars of Creation: James Webb Telescope

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Nationally Determined Contributions

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Indian Defence Sector - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Terms & Concepts

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Mangarh Dham - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Ease Reforms - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Genetically Modified Mustard - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Blue Beaches - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Editorial of the day

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Insulate urban poor from climate shocks: Hindustan Times

4   News Capsules

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Sandalwood spike disease - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Agni Prime missile - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Sukapaika River - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Wolf warrior diplomacy - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Pokkali rice - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Endosulfan - Edukemy Current Affairs

5   Case Study of the Day

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Science & Tech: CAR-T Therapy for Leukaemia Cure

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

Partial Solar Eclipse 2022 - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

Various regions of India witnessed a partial solar eclipse for the first time in more than ten years recently. It is also reported to be the year's last solar eclipse.

What is an Eclipse?

  • An eclipse occurs when one heavenly body such as a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another heavenly body.
  • There are two types of eclipses on Earth: an eclipse of the Moon and an eclipse of the Sun.
  • A solar eclipse occurs when Moon gets between Earth and Sun, and the moon casts a shadow over Earth. Solar eclipses happen only at the new moon phase.
  • Lunar eclipses occur when Earth positions itself between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow across the lunar surface. They can only occur during a full moon.

Types of Solar Eclipses

  • Total Solar Eclipse: Moon completely covers the Sun.
  • Annular Eclipse: Moon is at the farthest point from the Earth and does not cover the Sun fully, thereby leaving an edge visible like a ring.
  • Hybrid solar eclipse: Because Earth's surface is curved, sometimes an eclipse can shift between annular and total as Moon’s shadow moves across the globe.
  • Partial Solar Eclipse: When the sun, moon, and earth are not exactly aligned, a partial solar eclipse occurs, giving the sun the appearance of casting a dark shadow across a portion of its surface.

 

    • A partial solar eclipse has three phases: a beginning, a maximum, and an end.
    • The moon's motion over the sun's disk starts out in the first phase, and it reaches its peak when the maximum area of the sun's disk is covered.
    • In the third phase, the moon begins to wane, allowing sunlight to pass through.
    • The unique feature of the Partial Solar Eclipse is that it happens only on a new moon.

What’s unique about this eclipse?

  • Since India hasn't witnessed a partial solar eclipse since 2007, this occurrence is exceptionally rare and won't occur again until November 3, 2032.
  • Another partial solar eclipse will occur in 2025, but India won't be able to witness it.

Concern

  • Even for a limited period, viewing an eclipse with the naked eye is not recommended. Even if the Moon shields the majority of the Sun, it nevertheless causes permanent eye damage and blindness.
  • Despite the fact that the eclipse may be visible to the naked eye, the ultraviolet rays can damage the retina.

Content Source Link: 

  • https://newsonair.gov.in/News?title=India%2C-few-other-places-in-the-world-to-witness-partial-solar-eclipse-today&id=449845#:~:text=The%20cities%20where%20the%20partial,Silvasa%2C%20Surat%2C%20and%20Panaji

Image Source Link:

  • https://newsonair.gov.in/News?title=India%2C-few-other-places-in-the-world-to-witness-partial-solar-eclipse-today&id=449845#:~:text=The%20cities%20where%20the%20partial,Silvasa%2C%20Surat%2C%20and%20Panaji

 

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Keywords: GS Paper I, Physical Geography, Solar Eclipse
News Snapshot

Pillars of Creation: James Webb Telescope


In news

  • NASA's James Webb Telescope captured an image of the famous "Pillars of Creation," a lush, highly detailed landscape.

About Pillars of Creation

  • They are three menacing skyscrapers formed of cosmic gas and dust.
  • Situated in the Eagle Nebula (a constellation of stars), also known as Messier 16.

  • They depict enormous, towering columns of thick gas and dust clouds where young stars are developing in an area some 6,500 light-years away from Earth.
  • There are brilliant red, lava-like patches at the ends of some pillars. These are ejections from young stars, barely a few hundred thousand years old that are still developing.
  • They became famous after Hubble Space Telescope captured them first in 1995, and again in 2014.
  • Significance: By providing much more accurate counts of recently formed stars and data on the amount of gas and dust present in the area, the new image will aid astronomers in revising their theories of star formation.

About James Webb Space Telescope

  • It is a result of an international partnership between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency, launched in December 2021.
  • It is presently at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point, approx. 1.5 million kilometers beyond Earth's orbit around the Sun.
  • Lagrange Point 2 is one of the five points in the orbital plane of the Earth-Sun system.
  • It's the largest, most powerful infrared space telescope ever built.
  • It is Hubble Telescope’s successor.
  • It can see backwards in time to just after the Big Bang by looking for galaxies that are so far away that the light has taken many billions of years to get from those galaxies to our telescopes

Content Source Link:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/webb-space-telescope-renders-pillars-of-creation-with-new-depth-clarity-8220812/
  • https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/nasa-s-webb-takes-star-filled-portrait-of-pillars-of-creation

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nasa.gov%2Ffeature%2Fgoddard%2F2022%2Fnasa-s-webb-takes-star-filled-portrait-of-pillars-of-creation&psig=AOvVaw0xi5Oek1dQceC5S7TFZepk&ust=1666699159764000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA8QjhxqFwoTCMC68q3o-PoCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAE

 

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Keywords: GS paper III, Space technology
News Snapshot

Nationally Determined Contributions


In News:

  • UNFCCC cautions nations against poor targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions

About the News:

  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has recently released the second synthesis report on countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) mandate of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • The report is an annual summary of climate commitments made by countries and their impact on global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

  • According to the report, while countries are bending the curve of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions downward and their combined climate pledges could put the world on track for around 2.5°C of warming by the end of the century.
  • As per the report, although there has been downward trend in emissions expected by 2030 however, the world is still nowhere near the scale and pace of emission reductions required to put us on track toward 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • The previous report has projected emissions of 54.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2030 which requires governments to strengthen their climate action plans and update NDCs more efficiently.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

  • About: NDCs are submitted by countries under the Paris Agreement of the UNFCCC and it represent pledges on climate action that seek to limit global warming to meet the 1.5 °C temperature goal.
  • Current Status: According to the IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook 2022 (WETO) 1.5°C pathway, the share of renewables in the world’s energy supply needs to rise from 14% in 2019 to around 40% in 2030.
  • Importance: Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) are a means for countries to communicate the steps they will take to address climate change and reflects the level of ambition by each country in reducing emissions.
  • Paris mandate: The Paris Agreement implementation framework calls for countries to submit new, revised and enhanced NDCs starting in 2020, and every five years

Major findings:

  • Shrinking carbon-budget: At the current pace, 86% of the carbon budget for the 1.5°C threshold of warming could be depleted by 2030.
  • Updated NDCs: These are manifestations of the Paris Agreement’s ‘ratcheting mechanism’— wherein countries must revise their pledges to be more ambitious every five years.
  • Poor commitments: Only 24 countries including India has submitted new or updated NDCs with upwardly revised NDC.
  • India: As per updated NDC mandate, India now stands committed to reducing emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 per cent by 2030 from its 2005 levels.
  • Inefficient NDCs: Full implementation of all latest NDCs (including all conditional elements) is estimated to lead to a 3.6 (0.7-6.6) per cent emission reduction by 2030 relative to the 2019 level
  • Achievable range: As per the report estimates, world is on track for about 5°C of temperature rise by 2100, from a possible range of 2.1°C to 2.9°C.
  • Carbon budget: It is a biophysical threshold of CO2 that can be emitted to prevent global average temperatures from rising above a certain level.
  • Shrinking window: The world can emit only about 500 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (GtCO2) starting January 1, 2020, for a 50 per cent chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C. Thus, this leaves a room to emit around 70 Gt CO2 after 2030 to stay within the desired threshold of 1.5°C.
  • Repercussions : Breaching 1.5°C would lead to irreversible damage to vital planetary features such as the Greenland Ice Sheet, the west Antarctic Ice Sheet and tropical coral reefs and can lead to more “floods, droughts, heat, disease and storms”

Source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/countries-targets-to-cut-greenhouse-gas-emissions-insufficient-unfccc-85628#:~:text=Published%3A%20Wednesday%2026%20October%202022&text=The%20Nationally%20Determined%20Contributions%20(NDC,on%20Climate%20Change%20(UNFCCC

 

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Keywords: General studies III: Environment, Paris climate deal, UNFCCC, NDC
News Snapshot

Indian Defence Sector - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

The government is making efforts to take domestic defence production from the current $12 billion to $22 billion by 2025.

Beyond News:

  • The main objective is to fulfil the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces and to create long-term linkages to the global supply chains of foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to meet global demands.
  • The $5 billion export target set for 2025 reflects the intent of the government for export-oriented manufacturing.
  • India is positioned as the 3rd largest military spender in the world, with its defence budget accounting for 2.15% of the country’s total GDP.

Measures to boost Defence Industry in India

  • The government has made the sector a focus area for the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ or Self-Reliant India initiative, with a formidable push on the establishment of indigenous manufacturing infrastructure supported by a requisite research and development ecosystem.
  • Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP 2020), aims to empower the Indian domestic industry through the Make in India initiative. It is an overarching guiding document for self-reliance and export.
  • Technology Development Fund to provide financial support for upgradation and innovation in products, systems, and processes for the Armed Forces.
  • Defence Investor Cell (Ministry of Defence): To provide information and address queries related to investment opportunities, procedures and regulatory requirements.
  • Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) to foster innovation and technology development in Defence by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, etc.
  • To promote export and liberalise foreign investments, FDI in Defence Sector has been enhanced up to 74% through the Automatic Route and 100% by Government Route.
  • Srijan portal was launched to boost PPP model, between private sector and DPSUs, Armed forces.
  • The government has also announced 2 dedicated Defence Industrial Corridors, in the States of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh to act as clusters of defence manufacturing that leverage existing infrastructure, and human capital.
  • India and Japan have agreed to enhance bilateral security and defence cooperation, including in the area of defence manufacturing.
  • Introduction of Buy (Global–Manufacturer in India) category in Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.

Challenges to Indian Defence Sector

  • Lack of growth in defence modernisation and capabilities.
  • Long-drawn procurement procedure rooted in institutional inefficiencies.
  • Slow development of indigenous capabilities, due to inadequate allocations towards long-term investments, as around 58% of the budget mainly goes towards salaries & pensions, leaving less room for capital outlay.
  • Long-drawn timelines to grant contracts to private players, leading to production delays and cost overruns.
  • Lack of investment in Research & Development, and less industry-academia linkages.

Source:

  • India eyeing $5 billion exports, $22 billion turnover in defence sector by 2025: Rajnath Singh
  • Defence manufacturing in India

Image source:

  • https://www.ibef.org/industry/defence-manufacturing/infographic

 

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Keywords: GS2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors: Indian Defence Sector, Defence Expo 2022.
Terms & Concepts

Mangarh Dham - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: Prime Minister will pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the Bhil tribal community, during his visit to the Mangarh Dham in Rajasthan's Banswara district.
  • Historical Relevance: The Mangarh Dham is a memorial for around 1,500 tribals massacred by the British army in 1913 and is called the Jallianwala Bagh of Rajasthan.
  • Location: It is located in the district on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border, a region with a large tribal population.
  • Bhil social reformer Govind Guru led the gathering of tribals and forest dwellers in 1913 in Mangarh against the British Raj.
  • Bhil Tribe is one of the oldest tribes of India spread across central India including Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.


Source:

  • https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/jaipur/mangarh-a-battle-for-tribal-legacy/

Image source:

  • https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/pm-modi-to-pay-tribute-to-unsung-heroes-at-mangarh-dham-in-rajasthan-122102601067_1.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 1: History: Mangarh Dham, Bhil Tribal uprising
Terms & Concepts

Ease Reforms - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: To push MSME, housing credit in the hinterland, govt plans to involve RRBs in EASE Reforms.
  • EASE reforms were launched in 2018 for the public sector banks and are currently in their fifth phase.
  • It was commissioned through Indian Banks’ Association and authored by Boston Consulting Group.
  • EASE 5.0
    TO PROVIDE credit to rural consumers, the government is planning to leverage strong network of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) by asking them to expand their portfolio by adding new segments.
  • The proposed mandate will require RRBs to go beyond their mainstay of agricultural loans to extending credit for education, housing and even small businesses in rural India.
  • Under EASE 5.0, PSBs will continue to invest in new-age capabilities and deepen the ongoing reforms to respond to evolving customer needs, changing competition and the technology environment.
  • EASE 5.0 will focus on digital customer experience, and integrated & inclusive banking, with emphasis on supporting small businesses and
  • Simultaneously, all PSBs will also create a bank-specific 3-year strategic roadmap. It will entail strategic initiatives beyond EASE 5.0. The initiatives will be across diverse themes - business growth, profitability, risk, customer service, operations, and capability building.

Source:

  • https://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/nirmala-sitharaman-launches-ease-5-0-common-reforms-agenda-for-psbs-122060801399_1.html
  • https://indianexpress.com/article/india/to-push-msme-housing-credit-in-the-hinterland-govt-plans-to-involve-rrbs-8224077/

Image source:

  • https://www.livemint.com/industry/banking/psbs-to-push-co-lending-with-nbfcs-digital-agri-financing-under-ease-4-0-index-11629712022802.html

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Economic Development, inclusive growth
Terms & Concepts

Genetically Modified Mustard - Edukemy Current Affairs


Context: The clearance for GM mustard (transgenic hybrid mustard DMH-11) by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), India’s state-run biotech regulator, means the crop is fit for environmental release.

  • Genetic modification of plants involves adding a specific stretch of DNA into the plant’s genome, giving it new or different characteristics.
  • DMH-11 was developed by crossing a popular Indian mustard variety ‘Varuna’ (the barnase line) with an East European ‘Early Heera-2’ mutant (barstar).
  • DMH-11 is claimed to have shown an average 28% yield increase over Varuna in contained field trials carried out by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • India first allowed GM cultivation in 2002 with genetically modified cotton.
  • Groups have opposed lab-altered crops, as they believe that GM crops could compromise food safety and biodiversity and pose a health hazard.

Source:

  • What are GM crops and how is it done? | Royal Society
  • Understanding GM mustard: what is it, and how has it been achieved? | Explained News,The Indian Express

 

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, Science and Technology, genetic engineering
Terms & Concepts

Blue Beaches - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The coveted International eco-label "Blue Flag" has been accorded to two new beaches - Minicoy Thundi Beach and Kadmat Beach- both in Lakshadweep. This takes the number of beaches certified under the Blue Flag certification to 12.
  • To qualify for Blue Flag Certification, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria must be met and maintained.

  • The mission of Blue Flag is to promote sustainability in the tourism sector, through environmental education, environmental protection and other sustainable development practices.
  • The other Indian beaches in the blue list are
    • Shivrajpur-Gujarat,
    • Ghoghla-Diu,
    • Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka,
    • Kappad-Kerala,
    • Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh,
    • Golden-Odisha,
    • Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar,
    • Kovalam in Tamil Nadu and
    • Eden in Puducherry.

Source:

  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com//news/india/two-more-indian-beaches-enter-the-coveted-list-of-blue-beaches/articleshow/95109222.cms?

IMAGE SOURCE:

  • IMAGE SOURCE: In Pics | All about the ten Indian beaches with the prestigious 'Blue Flag' tag (moneycontrol.com)

 

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Keywords: GS-3, environment
Editorial of the day

Insulate urban poor from climate shocks: Hindustan Times


In News:

The unexpected downpour that Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) experienced in September-October wrought severe civic disruptions. Last year, cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow and Bengaluru (which suffered heavy showers and flooding once again this week) were roiled by similar climate-hit disruptions).

Extreme weather events, accounting for the climate crisis, have become a common phenomenon in recent years. More recently, north India was severely affected by heat waves that shrunk the wheat crop production in the rabi season. Although these extreme climatic changes affect all, they hit the poorest and the vulnerable the worst and reduce their chances of improving their socioeconomic status.

More than half of the world's population currently lives in cities and urbanisation continues to expand. With this growth, the numbers of the urban poor are increasing, particularly in developing countries. The urban poor is especially vulnerable to climate change because their homes are frequently located in hazardous areas.

Climate Change effects on Urban Poor:

  • Economic Impacts: The consequences of extreme weather events such as frequent flooding or heat waves are the loss of workdays, livelihoods, housing and critical economic assets.
  • Health Impacts: The strong hit to the economy is coupled with adverse health impacts; increased morbidity and mortality from vector-borne diseases and heat strokes.
  • Prone to Disasters: Poor people live on the most vulnerable lands within cities; typically areas that are deemed undesirable by others and are thus affordable and are exposed to the impacts of landslides, sea-level rise, flooding, and other hazards.
  • Delayed Responses: Delayed response aggravates losses and protracts rehabilitation, adversely affecting resilience.
  • Loss of Housing and Assets: Housing and asset loss and damages are other significant concerns, especially during floods. This is further exacerbated by overcrowded living conditions, lack of adequate infrastructure and services, unsafe housing, inadequate nutrition, and poor health.

Steps to Shield the Urban Poor from Climate Change:

  • Insurance Penetration: Insurance penetration in the country is very less i.e 4.21% only. A targeted insurance scheme that covers both house and household assets can boost resilience at the household level. The State may have to intervene to address the needs of those with the lowest purchasing power. Prime Minister Grih Bima Yojna for the poor must be instituted on the lines of Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojna.
  • Minimising Response Time: Reducing the time between exposure to climate risk and the accrual of benefits is necessary whether from the State or insurance firms. The direct benefit transfer architecture can be leveraged, expanding its scope in response to the policy action.
  • Integrated approach in Key Areas: Strengthening the resilience of the urban poor will require integrated interventions across six policy areas:
    • social protection
    • public health
    • livelihood
    • housing
    • community infrastructure
    • urban planning
  • Pro-poor climate resilience solution: Three enabling factors:
    • capable, accountable, and responsive governance
    • climate and urban data
    • climate and urban finance need to be put in place to ensure that pro-poor climate resilience solutions promote transformational change to address the underlying drivers of vulnerability.
  • Data Capturing and Sharing: Satellite imagery could be used to identify flooded areas, and government databases of such localities could be used to identify beneficiaries. Through DBT Insurance claims could be directly transferred without the beneficiary raising a claim. This can be made possible by a new purpose-driven data-sharing agreement between the State and the industry.
  • Local Governments Role: Local governments play a vital role in providing basic services which are critical to improving the resilience of the urban poor. City officials can build resilience by mainstreaming risk reduction into urban management. A major challenge for local governments is financial dependence on state and central governments; hence, significant financial support is needed.
  • Integration with existing urban Planning: Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction can be best addressed and sustained over time through integration with existing urban planning and management practices.

As extreme events become more frequent, newer mechanisms are needed for shock-proofing the poor. Sufficient response and synergies between the State’s policy imperatives and the insurance industry are necessary for easing the vulnerabilities of the poor. Leveraging technology and partnerships between State and industry can facilitate speedy and timely responses to climate calamities and build the resilience of the urban poor.

  • https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/insulate-urban-poor-from-climate-shocks-101666445050209.html
  • https://elibrary.worldbank.org/doi/abs/10.1596/978-0-8213-8845-7
  • https://www.iied.org/how-does-changing-climate-impact-urban-poverty#:~:text=Many%20cities%20are%20built%20on,each%20time%20it%20rains%20heavily.

 

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Keywords: General Studies – 3 Environment - Impact of Climate Crisis on Urban Poor, Measures to protect the urban poor from the impacts of climate change.
News Capsules

Sandalwood spike disease - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, a study showed that Sandalwood Spike Disease (SSD) is posing a severe threat to the Commercial Cultivation of Sandalwood.

About

  • It is an infectious disease which is caused by phytoplasma. Phytoplasmas are bacterial parasites of plant tissues — which are transmitted by insect vectors and involved in plant-to-plant transmission.
  • There is no cure as of now for the infection. There is no option but to cut down and remove the infected tree to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • The disease was first reported in Kodagu, Karnataka in 1899.
  • Santalum album, commonly known as Indian Sandalwood, is a dry deciduous forest species native to China, India, Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines.
  • IUCN status of the Santalum album is Vulnerable.

 

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Keywords: GS-3, Science & Technology, Health & rare diseases
News Capsules

Agni Prime missile - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news?

Recently, India successfully test-fired the indigenously-developed new generation medium-range ballistic missile Agni Prime from the Odisha coast, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

About

  • Agni missiles are long-range, nuclear weapons capable surface to surface ballistic missiles.
  • Agni-P is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles.
  • It is the sixth missile in the Agni series of a ballistic missiles.
  • It is a two-staged canisters missile with a range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km.
  • Many advanced technologies including composites, propulsion systems, innovative guidance and control mechanisms and state-of-the-art navigation systems have been introduced.

 

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Keywords: GS-3 Science & Technology, Defence
News Capsules

Sukapaika River - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news?

The Sukapaika River which stopped flowing 70 years ago, is set to be rejuvenated as the Odisha government has started working on its revival plan following a recent direction from the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

About

  • Sukapaika is one of the several distributaries of the mighty Mahanadi River in Odisha.
  • It branches away from the Mahanadi at Ayatpur village in Cuttack district and flows for about 40 kilometres (km) before rejoining its parent river at Tarapur in the same district.
  • Sukapaika river is an important system of the Mahanadi to control floodwater and maintain the flow in the river as well as the Bay of Bengal.

 

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Keywords: GS-1, Geography River System
News Capsules

Wolf warrior diplomacy - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news?

With the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) 20th National Congress set to begin soon, it is widely expected that Chinese President Xi Jinping will get an endorsement for a third term as President.

About

  • Wolf warrior diplomacy describes an aggressive style of coercive diplomacy adopted by Chinese diplomats in the 21st century under Chinese leader Xi Jinping's administration.
  • The new ‘wolf warrior diplomacy’ confronts head-on any criticism of China in the public sphere.
  • Chinese government's wolf warrior diplomacy of 21st century is characterized by the
  • use of confrontational rhetoric by Chinese diplomats,
  • coercive behaviour,
  • loudly denouncing any perceived criticism of the Chinese government and its policies, and
  • court controversy in interviews and on social media.
  • Efforts aimed at incorporating the Chinese diaspora into China's foreign policy have also intensified with an emphasis placed on ethnic loyalty over national loyalty.

 

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Keywords: GS-2, International relations
News Capsules

Pokkali rice - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news?

Pokkali paddy harvest festival was celebrated recently.

About

  • The pokkali variety of rice is known for its saltwater resistance and flourishes in the rice paddies of coastal Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts of Kerala.
  • The single-season paddy is raised in saltwater fields between June and November followed by a season of fish farming.
  • The uniqueness of the rice has brought it the Geographical Indication (GI) tag and is the subject of continuing research.
  • Given its ability to thrive under harsh climatic conditions and produce a high yield, it can help in promoting climate-resilient agriculture.
  • Pokkali has medicinal properties and its higher value of antioxidants and low carbohydrate content makes it preferable to those on a low-sugar diet.

 

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Keywords: GS-1, Geography, GI tags
News Capsules

Endosulfan - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news?

The Kerala government has been giving Rs 1,000 to endosulfan-affected persons during Onam.

About

  • Endosulfan is an organochlorine insecticide which was first introduced in the 1950s and is commonly known by its trade name Thiodan.
  • It is linked to a slew of grave medical conditions, such as neurotoxicity, physical deformities, poisoning and more.
  • It is sprayed on crops like cotton, cashew, fruits, tea, paddy, tobacco etc. for control of pests such as whiteflies, aphids, beetles, worms etc.
  • Endosulfan is listed under both the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • The endosulfan ingestion results in diseases ranging from physical deformities, cancer, birth disorders and damage to the brain and nervous system.

 

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Keywords: GS-3, Science & Technology
Case Study of the Day

Science & Tech: CAR-T Therapy for Leukaemia Cure


Background

An 8-year-old in India received the treatment for Leukaemia, as part of the safety trials for India's first indigenously made CAR-T cells.

About the Innovation

  • Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cells are a new form of immunotherapy, which entails re-engineering the body's T immune cells with genetic material so that they selectively target cancer cells for destruction.
  • Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that utilises the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.
  • CAR T therapy is used to treat patients with specific types of cancers of blood and lymph nodes.
  • It is indigenously developed by IIT Bombay and Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai and is funded under National Biopharma Mission (NBM) by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • Each kind of CAR T cell therapy is made to fight a specific kind of cancer antigen, hence CAR T made for one type of cancer won't work against another type of cancer.
  • Further, the made-in-India therapy’s price tag will be a 10th of its cost in the USA.

Benefits:

  • While existing cancer treatments work towards increasing the life of patients by a few years or months, CAR-T technology holds the promise of curing certain types of cancers.
  • Unlike chemotherapy, CAR-T is administered only once to a patient.
  • Short treatment time is needed and more rapid recovery

Source:

  • Homegrown CAR-T cells
  • CAR T Cell Therapy

Image source:

  • https://www.cancer.gov/sites/g/files/xnrzdm211/files/styles/cgov_article/public/cgov_image/media_image/100/500/8/files/CAR-T-Cell-therapy-article.jpg?h=c819afb2&itok=M2JRyM6i

 

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Keywords: GS3: Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life: CAR-T therapy, Leukaemia
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