15 Apr 2018: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY
1. Codification of duties for CJI by Group of SC Judges
GOVERNANCE
1. Project ‘Samarthan’: Tihar to adopt WHO’s mental health drive
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
1. In Response to chemical Attacks by Syria, U.S., Britain, France rain over 100 missiles
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. India offered to export soya beans to china
2. Road Safety Trust Fund: UN
SECURITY
1. Operation All Out
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. How gut bacteria affect immunity?
2. IASST researchers use smart bandage for faster wound healing
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
F. Prelims Fact
G. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions 

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY

1. Codification of duties for CJI by Group of SC Judges

Context

  • A group of five Supreme Court judges had attempted to codify the broad duties of the Chief Justice of India, particularly in allocating cases in his capacity as “Master of the Roster”.
  • This attempt to “institutionalize” the functions of the CJI was made following the January 12 press conference, when four senior Supreme Court judges had raised questions about the manner in which cases were being allocated in the Supreme Court.

Objective

  • The objective of trying to codify the manner in which cases are allocated was to mend fences within the Supreme Court.

Details

  • The group saw this attempt as aimed at trying to “institutionalize and strengthen the practices and conventions in diverse areas under the administration of justice in the Supreme Court of India”.
  • These conventions of the apex court include that major cases should be heard by the Chief Justice of India, and if not possible by the CJI, the case should go to the second court and so on in the descending order of courts.
  • The constitution of Benches should be as per the seniority of the judges, the Chief Justice’s court should sit in a combination of three judges and five-judge Benches should hear any case involving substantial questions of law in accordance with Article 145 (3) of the Constitution.
  • The committee would establish as norms the Chief Justice of India’s various duties and functions, primarily as Master of Roster.
  • Once all this was done, it was hoped the norms would be published on the Supreme Court website. The mediators believed this would clear the dark clouds hanging over the institution.

But the talks stopped and the draft proposals remain pending. Instead, the Chief Justice of India published a subject-wise roster.

Current Status

  • The April 11 judgment reiterated a November 2017 judgment by a five-judge Constitution Bench which had declared the CJI’s absolute dominance as master of roster.

 

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. Project ‘Samarthan’: Tihar to adopt WHO’s mental health drive

Context

  • The Tihar Jail will soon adopt the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Psychological First Aid programme to sensitise its inmates towards mental health issues.

Details

  • The project, titled ‘Samarthan’, the prison staff will be trained to provide assistance to those who are depressed or facing mental health issues.
  • The programme will be carried out under the guidance of professor from AIIMS in collaboration with Mental health Foundation, medical professional, and prison staff working in Tihar
  • The PFA programme, developed by the WHO, aims to provide “supportive and practical” assistance to those who have faced crisis situations.
  • Tihar will become the second institution after Pennsylvania State Penitentiary to adopt the programme.

 

Category: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. In Response to chemical Attacks by Syria, U.S., Britain, France rain over 100 missiles

Context

  • Syria which has been accused of using chemicals to target its citizens was bombarded with more than 100 missiles by U.S., British and French forces against the Damascus government targeting what they called chemical weapons sites in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack.

Target Area

  • Washington described its targets as a centre near Damascus for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological weapons, a chemical weapons storage site near the city of Homs and another site near Homs that stored chemical weapons equipment and housed a command post.

 

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. India offered to export soya beans to china 

Context

  • In the backdrop of China’s trade row with Washington India was ready to step in and supply soya beans to China

Details

  • China had announced fresh tariffs on soya bean imports from the U.S, as part of an unresolved trade spat between Beijing and Washington, on items worth over $100 billion.

2. Road Safety Trust Fund: UN

 

  • The trust fund is aimed at spurring action to help save lives in road accidents.
  • UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Organisation’s development arm, is the secretariat for the trust fund

Details

  • The Road Safety Trust Fund will serve as a catalyst for much-needed progress towards the road safety targets of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • The Trust Fund has the potential to galvanize global efforts to address the road safety situation, building on the progress made and experience gained over the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020
  • The trust fund will support efforts along the five pillars of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, which include strengthened road safety management capacities; improved safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks; enhanced safety of vehicles; improved behavior of road users; and improved post-crash care.
  • It also urged countries to take measures to implement vehicle safety regulations to ensure that all new motor vehicles meet applicable minimum regulations for the protection of occupants and other road users, with seat belts, airbags and active safety systems fitted as standard equipment.

Stats

  • Road traffic deaths and injuries have become a serious and urgent global concern. Around 1.3 million drivers, passengers and pedestrians die each year, and up to 50 million are injured on the world’s roads

Category: SECURITY

1. Operation All Out

  • To install Peace in Kashmir, the security forces started an offensive force to flush out Militants and terrorists in the region in May of 2017.

Background

  • The operation was initiated with the consent of Ministry for Home Affairs Government of India following the unrest in 2016 due to the death of Burhan Wani and subsequent militant and terrorist attacks in the region such as the Amarnath Yatra terror attack

Details

  • Intelligence agencies carries out a secret district-wise survey to identify militant hideouts such as Lashkar, Jaish, Hizbul and Al- Badr.
  • This strategic operation is based on meticulous planning and intelligence-gathering

 

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. How gut bacteria affect immunity?

Context

  • A study by researchers has revealed that abundance and type of bacteria in the intestine gets altered when infected with tuberculosis

Experiments

  • The team studied the gut bacteria of six patients diagnosed with TB and compared them with one healthy relative from each househo
  • Despite the food consumed by the patients and healthy individuals remaining the same, there were significant differences in the type and abundance of gut bacteria.

Results

  • They found that Prevotella and Bifidobacterium were abundant in the healthy individuals.
    • These bacteria are important for normal digestion and metabolism of the body.
    • They are found in abundance in the Indian gut due to the carbohydrate-rich diet
  • In TB patients, bacteria like Faecalibacterium, Roseburia, Eubacterium and Phascolarctobacterium were significantly higher.
    • These bacteria are known to produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and propionate, which are important for our gut, but their increased abundance can also lead to anti-inflammatory response, altering the immunity of our body
    • The high number of these bacteria can also alter the normal metabolism of our body and can even reduce the appetite.

Significance

  • This novel study may help further in understanding how drugs alter the gut microbiome and if probiotics/prebiotics and nutritional supplements should be given along with certain prescribed drugs.

 

2. IASST researchers use smart bandage for faster wound healing

Context

  • A smart bandage material that can heal wounds better and faster and has antimicrobial properties has been fabricated by a team of researchers from the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati.

Components

  • The bandage is made of cotton patch coated with chitosan-based hydogel that is loaded with curcumin and graphene oxide.
    • Cotton Patch can be utilised for loading nanomaterials and antimicrobials to impart wound-healing properties
    • Graphene Oxide Nanomaterial was used for its antimicrobial properties and biocompatibility
      • The nanosize of graphene oxide allows large amount of drug to be loaded on to the patch.
      • Graphene oxide also increases the strength of the patch especially when it gets wet.
    • The researchers used curcumin as a model drug and Different drugs can be loaded on the patch depending on the nature of the wound

Why is Chitosan used?

  • Cotton tends to stick to wounds and being fibrous it is difficult to remove it.
  • By coating the cotton with chitosan and compressing the bandage we get a material with similar properties (porosity and ability to absorb water) as cotton but one that does not stick to the wound
  • Chitosan is a sugar that is obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, including crab, lobster, and shrimp. It is used for medicine.
    • Chitosan is used to treat obesity, high cholesterol, and Crohn’s disease. It is also used to treat complications that kidney failure patients on dialysis often face, including high cholesterol, “tired blood” (anemia), loss of strength and appetite, and trouble sleeping (insomnia).
    • In pharmaceutical manufacturing, chitosan is used as a filler in tablets; as a carrier in controlled-release drugs; to improve the way certain drugs dissolve; and to mask bitter tastes in solutions taken by mouth. 

Testing

  • The antimicrobial property of four cotton patches was tested in vitro using Staphyllococcus aureus and E. coli bacteria.
  • While no antimicrobial property was seen in the case of cotton coated with chitosan, patches that had either graphene oxide or curcumin exhibited antimicrobial activity
  • Patches that had both graphene oxide and curcumin had only minimal or no growth of bacterial colonies.
  • The superior antibacterial activity comes from combined action of the antimicrobials

Conclusion

  • Cotton patch with graphene oxide or curcumin showed almost similar wound-healing capacity at the end of 21 days.
  • But wounds treated with the patch containing both graphene oxide and curcumin showed faster and satisfactory healing along with hair growth in the wounded area by the end of three weeks.
  • The cotton patch containing graphene oxide and curcumin served as a smart dressing material for wounds infected with bacteria
  • The high absorption capacity of the patch takes care of the pus and porous nature provides good oxygen supply for faster healing.

 

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

F. Prelims Fact

What are silent B cells?

  • B Cells are the mainstay of the body’s immune systems as they produce antibodies to fight infection
  • However there is also what is called a ‘silenced’ army of B Cells. Unlike the regular B cells, cells of this army pose a danger to the body. This is because they can make ‘bad’ antibodies which can attack oneself and cause autoimmune diseases.
  • For this reason, they are kept in a long -term silenced state (known as anergy)
  • However, researchers have now discovered that with a few minor tweaks these silent B cells can be changed to behave like traditional B cells. Therefore, they bode hope for future vaccine development

G. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. Rongali Bihu festival marks the onset of 
  1. Karnataka New Year and the arrival of spring
  2. Punjabi New Year and the arrival of spring.
  3. Assamese New Year and the arrival of spring.
  4. Bengali New Year and the arrival of spring

See

Answer

 
Question 2. Consider the following statements about Basavanna
  1. He served as the head of the state exchequer in Kalachuri Immadi Bijjala, a feudatory of the Chalukyan Kings.
  2. He was born a Brahmin
  3. He advocated his own ideology based on the principles of equality and fraternity, dignity of labour, creation and distribution of wealth.
  4. Sharanas (those who believed in his ideology) and their poems are called Vachanas (sayings).

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. Only 1 and 4
  2. Only 1, 2 and 3
  3. All of the above
  4. Only 3 and 4

See

Answer

 
Question 3. Look at the following statements about B Cells
  1. They are a type of red blood cell of the lymphocyte subtype
  2. Many B cells mature into what are called plasma cells that produce antibodies (proteins) necessary to fight off infections while other B cells mature into memory B cells.
  3. B cells mature in the bone marrow, which is at the core of most bones

Which of the above statements are correct?

  1. 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. All the above

See

Answer
 
Question 4. Beta amyloid is associated with which disease
  1. Cancer
  2. Alzheimer’s
  3. TB
  4. Diabetes

See

Answer
 
Question 5. With reference to Aihole consider the statements
  1. It is on the banks of the river Malaprabha
  2. Aihole was known in ancient India as Aryapur or Ayyavole
  3. The western Chalukya dynasty, established by Pulakeshin I has contributed to this site

Which of the above statements are incorrect?

  1. All of the above
  2. Only 1 and 3
  3. Only 1
  4. None of the above

See

Answer
 

H. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

 
  1. The recent cases of Rape in Kathua and Unnao is not only a violation of Fundamental rights but also involves lack of ethics and values. Explain.

  2. With Bangladesh ending reservation after Protests, Should India also adopt similar ideas and make suitable Changes? Critically comment.

     
 

 

Also, check previous Daily News Analysis

 

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