Monday, 10th October 2022

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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FAO Report on Deforestation - Edukemy Current Affairs

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India- World’s Largest producer of Sugar

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Nobel Prize 2022: Chemistry - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Terms & Concepts

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Rubber Board Launches mRube Portal

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PACS - Edukemy Current Affairs

3   Editorial of the day

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Making every drop count: On the Jal Jeevan Mission: The Hindu

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Wildlife Health: A Holistic View - Hindustan Times

4   Case Study of the Day

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Annie Ernaux-Nobel Prize Literature 2022

.... Show less Show more
News Snapshot

FAO Report on Deforestation - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News:

FAO has recently released a report emphasizing the need to halt deforestation while ensuring food security.

About the News:

FAO

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations which was established in 1945.
  • It is the oldest permanent specialized agency of the UN.
  • It is head quartered in Rome, Italy.
  • It is mandated to lead international efforts of eliminating hunger and improving nutrition and standards of living by increasing agricultural productivity.
  • It aims to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.
  • With 195 members - 194 countries and the European Union, it works in over 130 countries worldwide.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has recently released a report titled “Grazing with trees: A silvopastoral approach to managing and restoring” at FAO-Global Landscapes Forum.
  • As per the report, food production will need 165-600 million hectares more land to meet demand by 2050
  • The report also highlights that the yield increases alone would be insufficient to meet demand and must be paired with other interventions.
  • FAO has made several recommendations including restoration of degraded land, forest protection and improved governance to ensure an increase in food security without drastically diminishing forest cover.
  • Moving to a more sustainable approach to food production is expected to increase agricultural production in coming years while also helping to meet the globally agreed 2030 target for ending deforestation.

Major highlights of the report:

  • About: Drylands are home to about 25 per cent of the global population, contain 50 per cent of the world’s livestock, 27 per cent of the world’s forests and are where about 60 per cent of the world’s food production takes place.
  • Need: Food demand to support the global population will be 50 per cent more in 2050 compared with 2012 and thus, production will need 165 to 600 million more hectares of land for crop and livestock production, much of which is currently covered by forests and other critical ecosystems.

  • Mounting pressure: From 2000-2018 alone, almost 90 per cent of deforestation globally was attributable to agricultural expansion which negatively impacts associated ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and biodiversity.
  • Role of government: The report recommends governments to pay special attention to smallholder farmers, who produce roughly 35 per cent of the world’s food, but often live in poverty and cannot afford the costs or interruptions to income incurred through changing the way they work.
  • Loss of forests: The world has lost 420 million hectares of forests in the last two decades and thus it is vital to slow the rate of deforestation — standing at 8.8 million ha per year from 2010-2018.
  • Importance of grazing: According to FAO, if properly integrated grazing can play a vital role in restoring degraded land with trees, halting desertification and improving wildfire prevention in drylands.
  • Benefits of silvopastoral: It combines animal grazing and trees — and it has potential to create alternate livelihoods and also helps enhance local communities’ food security and income by preventing land degradation.
  • Win-win situation: Woody plants in drylands provide animal feed, timber and fruit as well as help to increase biodiversity and regulate soil and water cycles. At the same time, grazing livestock helps control vegetation, reduce the risk of wildfires, accelerate nutrient cycles and improve soil fertility.
  • Major recommendations:
    • Promoting livestock: Landscape planners and decision-makers should consider livestock as part of the solution and carefully restore open tree cover as part of an integrated landscape approach using agroforestry to promote healthy ecosystems.
    • Traditional knowledge: The traditional knowledge should be shared and updated for ‘peer-to-peer learning and training’.
    • Role of government: States should take steps to create conditions for farmers to change their practices to maximise production while minimising the impact on forests and biodiversity.
    • Separation of entities: There is need to decouple deforestation from agricultural commodities that are associated with deforestation and forest degradation, such as beef, soy, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, rubber and others.
    • Roping stakeholders: The report recommends need to engage international community, governments and private sector to curb deforestation

Source:

  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/food-production-will-need-165-600-million-hectares-more-land-to-meet-demand-by-2050-85271

 

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Keywords: General studies III: Important reports, FAO
News Snapshot

India- World’s Largest producer of Sugar


In News

India has recently emerged to become both the world's largest producer and consumer of sugar as well as its second-largest exporter.

Key Points

Production:

  • In Sugar Season (Oct-Sep) 2021-22, a record of more than 5000 Lakh Metric Tons (LMT) of sugarcane was produced in the country. Out of this about 3574 LMT of sugarcane was crushed by sugar mills to produce around 394LMT of sugar.

Exports:

  • Another highlight of the season is the highest exports of about 109.8 LMT that too with no financial assistance which was being extended upto 2020-21. These exports earned foreign currency of about Rs. 40,000 crores for the country. Further, more than 99.9% of cane dues are cleared.

A Season of Records:

  • The season has proven to be a watershed season for the Indian Sugar Sector. All records of sugarcane production, sugar production, sugar exports, cane procured, cane dues paid and ethanol production were made during the season.

Reasons for increase in Sugar Production

  • In order for sugar mills to pay cane dues to farmers on schedule and to be in a better financial position to continue their operations, the government has been encouraging sugar mills to divert sugar to ethanol production and to export excess sugar.

  • Molasses/sugar-based distilleries' capacity to produce ethanol has expanded to 605 crore liters per year, and progress is still being made toward the 20% blending goal set for the Ethanol Blending with Petrol (EBP) Program by 2025.
  • The conversion of sugar into ethanol and exports opened up the industry's value chain and enhanced sugar mills' financial standing, which encouraged the opening of more optional mills during the season.

 About Sugar Industry

  • It is a major agro-based sector.
  • Approximately 5 lakh individuals from rural areas are directly employed in sugar mills.

Location:

  • The production of sugar is mostly split between Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and Punjab in the north and Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh in the south.
  • In comparison to north India, the tropical environment of south India is more suited to increased sucrose concentration, which results in larger yields per unit area.

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.cnbctv18.com/economy/india-is-worlds-largest-sugar-producer-and-2nd-largest-exporter-14875291.htm
  • https://pragativadi.com/india-emerges-worlds-largest-sugar-producer-and-consumer-2nd-largest-exporter/

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.latestly.com/socially/india/news/india-emerges-as-the-worlds-largest-producer-and-consumer-of-sugar-and-worlds-2nd-latest-tweet-by-pib-india-4291146.html
  • https://www.mapsofindia.com/top-ten/india-crops/sugercane.html

 

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Keywords: GS paper III, Liberalization, Agricultural Pricing, Buffer Stocks & Food Security
News Snapshot

Nobel Prize 2022: Chemistry - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

About Nobel Prize

  • In 1901, on the fifth death anniversary of Alfred Nobel, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. Dynamite and other high explosives were invented by the Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.
  • The original categories for the prize were Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace. In the subject of economic sciences, a sixth award was later established in 1968, albeit it is not formally known as the Nobel Prize (Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences).
  • All awards must be given to an individual, with the exception of the Peace Prize, which may also be granted to an organization. But a prize can only be shared among a maximum of three people.
  • The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2022 has been given to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal, and Barry Sharpless "for the development of Click Chemistry and Bioorthogonal Chemistry."
  • Benjamin List and David MacMillan received the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their contributions to the development of asymmetric organocatalysis.

About the News:

  • Sharpless (won second time) developed the term "click chemistry" and put a lot of effort into it.
  • Independent of Sharpless, Meldal developed a unique chemical structure called a "triazole," which has a variety of vital uses.
  • Bertozzi then advanced by developing click reactions that could work inside living organisms — ‘bioorthogonal’ reactions (a term she coined).

Contribution of Award Winners to Click Chemistry

Concept (by Sharpless)

  • In a simple form of chemistry known as "Click Chemistry," molecular building blocks can come together easily and swiftly. It is a form of simple chemistry that is reliable, where reactions occur rapidly and undesirable byproducts are avoided.

  • Barry Sharpless developed the idea of "click chemistry" around the year 2000. He discovered that it is simpler to link smaller molecules with entire carbon frameworks than it is to force carbon atoms, the building blocks of organic matter, to bond with one another.
  • The key concept is to select simple reactions between molecules that have a "stronger intrinsic drive" to bond together, leading to a speedier and less wasteful process.

Importance:

  • In order to target and stop infections in cells, chemists frequently attempt to replicate the complex chemical molecules found in nature. This has applications in the field of medicine, among other things. But this procedure could be difficult and time-consuming.
  • Although click chemistry, a reliable approach for creating molecules, cannot create identical replicas of natural molecules, it will be possible to discover molecules that do the same activities.

Azide-Alkyne Cycloaddition ( by Meldal and Sharpless)

  • The copper catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition was the crowning achievement of click chemistry in the 2000s, and it was produced independently by Meldal and Sharpless.
  • Meldal discovered that adding copper ions to a reaction between an alkyne and an acyl halide produced a triazole, a chemical compound with a stable ring-shaped structure that is a common component in pharmaceuticals, dyes, and agricultural compounds. In order to regulate the reaction and produce only one chemical, copper ions were added.
  • A triazole was created by combining an alkyne and an azide. An alkyne is a hydrocarbon containing at least one triple bond between two carbon atoms, whereas an azode is an organic molecule with a N3 (Nitride Ion).
  • Today, a variety of processes, including the creation of materials that are better suitable for their intended use and the production of pharmaceuticals, make advantage of this straightforward and efficient chemical reaction.

Bioorthogonal reactions (by Bertozzi)

  • These processes take place inside living creatures without disrupting with the cell's regular chemistry.
  • Further advancements in a variety of biomedical fields, including molecular bioimaging, targeted delivery, in situ drug activation, research on cell-nanomaterial interactions, biosensing, etc., may result from its application in conjunction with nanotechnology.
  • Researchers have enhanced the targeting of cancer drugs by using bioorthogonal processes.

Use of Click Chemistry in Fighting Cancer

  • Carolyn R. Bertozzi intended to add fluorescent molecules to glycans so they could be easily identified while studying glycans, a difficult-to-find form of carbohydrate present on the surface of cells and essential to the immune system.
  • As Sharpless and Meldal had done, Bertozzi turned to the same azide. The azide is safe to introduce in living things and avoids interacting with other cell components as well.
  • She created an alternate click chemistry reaction in 2004, one that was safe for living cells because it didn't require toxic copper.
  • The work of Bertozzi is being used to discover glycans on the surface of tumor cells and to disarm their defense systems that render immune cells ineffective.
  • Clinical trials for this treatment are now being conducted on patients with advanced cancer. Additionally, scientists have started creating "clickable antibodies" that can be used to track tumors and precisely administer radiation dosages to cancer cells.

Content Source Link:

  • https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/lists/all-nobel-prizes-in-chemistry/#:~:text=The%20Nobel%20Prize%20in%20Chemistry,the%20Nobel%20Prize%20in%20Chemistry
  • https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/

Image Source Link:

  • https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fnews.abplive.com%2Fscience%2Fchemistry-nobel-2022-what-are-click-chemistry-bioorthogonal-reactions-why-they-matter-in-pharmaceuticals-tumour-cells-barry-sharpless-morten-meldal-carolyn-bertozzi-1556771&psig=AOvVaw2pH9tY75pwm3tZMkSrlv9v&ust=1665207947478000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA4QjhxqFwoTCNDX-JO1zfoCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAI

 

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Keywords: GS paper III, Biotechnology, Scientific Innovations & Discoveries
Terms & Concepts

Rubber Board Launches mRube Portal


  • Context: Recently, an updated version of online portal mRube was launched by the Rubber Board.
  • The Rubber Board of India is a statutory body, ie, it was established under an Act of Parliament (Rubber Act 1947).
  • It comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The Board is headed by a chairman appointed by the Central Government and has 28 members representing various interests of natural rubber industry.
  • The Board's headquarters is located at Kottayam in Kerala.

Rubber plantation in India and the World

1.       It is an equatorial crop, but under special conditions, it is also grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas. It requires a moist and humid climate with rainfall of more than 200 cm. and temperature above 25°C.

2.       Top 5 Natural Rubber Producing states: Kerala>Tamil Nadu>Tripura>Assam>Meghalaya

3.       Top 5 rubber producing countries in the world: Thailand>Indonesia>Vietnam>India>China

Functions of the Board include:

  1. To promote development of rubber industry.
  2. Undertaking, assisting or encouraging scientific, technological or economic research.
  3. Training students in improved methods of planting, cultivation, manuring and spraying.
  4. The supply of technical advice to rubber growers,
  5. Improving the marketing of rubber.
  6. The collection of statistics from owners of estates, dealers and manufacturers.
  7. Securing better working conditions and the provision and improvement of amenities and incentives to workers.
  8. Carrying out any other duties which may be vested with the Board as per rules made under this Act.

Sources:

  • https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/agri-business/rubber-board-launches-updated-version-of-online-portal-mrube/article65979362.ece

Image source:

  • http://rubberboard.org.in/public?lang=E
  • https://www.researchgate.net/institution/Rubber_Research_Institute_of_India

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3: Economy: Rubber Board, Rubber Production
Terms & Concepts

PACS - Edukemy Current Affairs


  • Context: The Union Home Minister said that primary agricultural credit societies (PACS) will be set up in all panchayats of the country over the next five years to boost activities such as marketing of dairy products.
  • PACS is a basic unit and smallest co-operative credit institution in India established in 1904.
  • It works on the grassroots level (gram panchayat and village level) and is the final link between the ultimate borrowers, i.e., rural people, on the one hand, and the higher agencies, i.e., Central cooperative bank, state cooperative bank, and Reserve Bank of India, on the other.
  • PACS are registered under the Co-operative Societies Act and also regulated by the RBI.
  • They are governed by the “Banking regulation Act-1949” and Banking Laws (Co-operative societies) Act 1965.
  • Objectives:
    • To raise capital for the purpose of making loans and supporting members’ essential activities.

    • To collect deposits from members with the goal of improving their savings habit.
    • To supply agricultural inputs and services to members at reasonable prices,
    • To arrange for the supply and development of improved breeds of livestock for members.
    • To make all necessary arrangements for improving irrigation on land owned by members.
    • To encourage various income-generating activities through supply of necessary inputs and services.

Source:

  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/primary-agricultural-credit-societies-in-all-panchayats-soon-north-east-to-gain-amit-shah/articleshow/94713482.cms?from=mdr

Image source:

  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/india/primary-agricultural-credit-societies-in-all-panchayats-soon-north-east-to-gain-amit-shah/articleshow/94713482.cms?from=mdr

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, PACS
Editorial of the day

Making every drop count: On the Jal Jeevan Mission: The Hindu


Essence - The article talks about the recent report that suggests that around 62% of rural households now have a functional water connection with 55 liters of water supplied per individual per day. The report highlights the disparity between states and is based on a small survey sample.

The article calls for better monitoring of the implementation of the scheme and attention to the quality of the water supply as well. The survey found that the chlorine contamination was more than the desired level and the condition was similar in public places like hospitals and schools. It states that the government should ensure that the infrastructure created under the mission should be of good quality and long-lasting and not just an attempt to boast the numbers during the upcoming elections.

Why should you read this Editorial?

  1. The article is a good critique of the Jal Jeevan Mission that started in 2019.
  2. The article highlights the issues and concerns related to rural water supply and management.

Source:

  • https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/making-every-drop-count/article65966724.ece

 

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Keywords: GS Paper 3, GS Paper 2, Jal Jeevan Mission, water management
Editorial of the day

Wildlife Health: A Holistic View - Hindustan Times


Essence – The editorial discusses the interdependence of wildlife health and human health. It highlights the issue by elaborating various outbreaks such as African Swine flu and Canin Distemper Virus which cause heavy loss to owners of the livestock and threatened the natural wildlife. It also discusses on the outbreak of Lumpy skin disease which has already claimed the life of lakhs of cattle.

Towards the end, it recommends for the “One Health” approach which can manage the issues that rise out of any Zoonotic disease and emphasises on keeping a healthy link between the Wild life, ecosystem and human beings. At the end it calls for recognizing this intricate linkage between wildlife health and human well-being which will also would help prevent any large scale degradation of natural ecosystem.

Why should you read this editorial?

  • To know about the importance of managing wildlife health and human health as One under “One health” approach.
  • To know about various incidences of outbreak of zoonotic diseases.

Source:

  • Refocusing our lens to view wildlife health holistically - Hindustan Times

 

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Keywords: GS3, Science and Technology
Case Study of the Day

Annie Ernaux-Nobel Prize Literature 2022


In news

The French author Annie Ernaux has been awarded 'Nobel Prize in Literature 2022', who is known for her deceptively simple novels drawing on personal experience of class and gender.

About Annie Ernaux

  • Ernaux was born in 1940 and brought up in the small town of Yvetot in Normandy, France.
  • Later, she went on to study at the universities of Rouen and then Bordeaux from where she qualified as a school teacher and gained a higher degree in modern literature.
  • Her literary career started with the publication of her first book, Cleaned Out, in 1974.
  • After publishing three novels (Cleaned Out, What they say goes, and The Frozen Woman), she turned to autobiographical writing with her 1984 book, A Man’s Place.
  • Some of the major themes in her work include the body and sexuality, intimate relationships, social inequality and the experience of changing class through education, time and memory, and the overarching question of how to write these life experiences.
  • Also, she manifestly believes in the liberating force of writing, and her work is uncompromising and written in plain language.
  • Further, her acclaimed works enjoy a faithful readership and have been a part of various radio and television interviews and programmes, apart from international academic literature.
  • As a result, Ernaux was honoured with the Nobel Prize “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory”.

Quote: “Maybe the true purpose of my life is for my body, my sensations and my thoughts to become writing, in other words, something intelligible and universal, causing my existence to merge into the lives and heads of other people.” ― Annie Ernaux

Source:

  • Who is Annie Ernaux, the French writer who has been awarded 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature?

Image source:

  • https://twitter.com/NobelPrize/status/1577977176355475456/photo/1

 

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Keywords: GS Paper1: Social Empowerment: Nobel Prize in Literature, Annie Ernaux
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