Daily Current Affairs 15-04-2024

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    Syllabus: GS2/International Relations

    • Iran launched drones and cruise missiles against Israel under Operation True Promise (Also called “Operation Honest Promise”).
    • India issued a statement expressing India’s “serious concern” at the escalation of hostilities, and called for “immediate de-escalation”.
    • The Iranian attack was in response to the suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian consular building in Syria’s Damascus that killed 12 people.
    India’s Stand on Iran- Israel Conflict
    Significance of the Region for India
    • Threat to Indian Community: There are about 18,000 Indians in Israel and about 5,000-10,000 Indians in Iran, about 90 lakh people are living and working in the Gulf and West Asia region.
      • Any conflict that expands will end up posing a risk to the Indian community that is based in the region.
    • Energy Security: The West Asia region contributes to India’s 80 percent of oil supplies, which a potential conflict will impact.
      • India has been able to minimise the impact of oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war by buying Russian oil at discounted prices, but this conflict will have an adverse impact on energy prices.
    • Investment and Strategic Importance: India has invested in a strategic relationship with major Arab countries, Iran, and Israel.
      • India sees the region as its extended neighbourhood, and it has been pushing for the India-Middle-East-Europe Economic corridor, which has strategic as well as economic benefits. 
      • Chabahar in Iran is another strategic economic project, which acts as a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia — since Pakistan denies land transit to Indian goods.
    • Defence Relations with Israel: India has a very deep strategic relationship with Israel, especially in the context of defence and security partnership
    • Maintaining a Balanced Stand: India’s stakes in the bilateral relationships with both Israel and Iran are huge, India will hope that Israel will avoid new military actions that will trigger a dangerous and wider war in the region.
      • Earlier India was seen as taking “Israel’s side”, but today its position urging restraint will be viewed as “balanced” and in favour of regional peace.
    • Based on the Complex Regional Politics: Inter-state and intra-state conflicts in the Middle East are deep and pervasive, and India will have to forever balance its engagement with key regional actors — Egypt, Iran, Israel, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — whose orientation and interests are different and often in conflict.
      • India’s call for de-escalation between Israel and Iran is about recognising the complexity of the region’s politics. 
    • Non- Ideological Engagement: The non-ideological engagement with the region is a necessary complement to India’s expanding interests in the Middle East.
      • India’s interests in the region are no longer limited to oil imports and labour exports. 
      • The Gulf Arab states — especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — have emerged as major economic and political partners for India.
    • India has strategic ties with both Iran and Israel — and for decades, it has been able to balance between the two sides. But if the conflict widens, it would be difficult for it to maintain an ambivalent position.
      • In the context of such deep ties with both Israel and Iran, India has difficulty in choosing sides.
    • India’s position that there should be “immediate de-escalation” and “step back from violence” and “return to the path of diplomacy” is, therefore, crucial to its national interest.

    Source: IE

    Syllabus :GS 1/History

    The 133 rd Birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was celebrated .

    • He was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer.
      • He was first Minister of Law and Justice of  independent India and is considered as the chief architect of the Constitution of India.
    • Early Life : He was born in a low-caste Mahar family on 14th April, 1891 to Subedar Ramji Maloji Sakpal.
    • Education : He got his early education in Bombay and he completed his graduation at Elphinstone College, Bombay, for which he was getting a scholarship from His Highness Sayajirao Gaikwad of Baroda. 
      • In 1913 he was selected as a scholar to go to the U.S.A, for higher studies. 
      • He got his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University in 1915 and 1916 respectively. 
      • He acquired sound knowledge of Economics, Politics, Law, Philosophy and Sociology, in pursuing his studies; he had to face many social odds. 
    • Works and Contributions  : He contributed to India’s Independence struggle and in its reforms post-independence.
      • He played a significant role in the formation of the Reserve Bank of India.
        • The Central bank was formed on the concept presented by Babasaheb to the Hilton Young Commission.
      • In 1924 he started an Association for the welfare of the depressed classes, with Sir Chimanlal Setalvad as the President and Dr. Ambedkar as the Chairman.
      • He  founded Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (Society for Welfare of the Ostracized) and led social movements such as Mahad Satyagraha in 1927 to demand justice and equal access to public resources for the historically oppressed castes of Indian society.
      • The Bahishkrit Bharat newspaper was started  in 1927 to address the cause of the depressed classes in view of the new reform.
    • In 1936 he addressed the Bombay Presidency Mahar Conference and advocated the renunciation of Hinduism.
    • In  1936, he formed the Independent Labour Party to safeguard the interest of the depressed classes, which mostly formed the labour population.
    • In 1942, he was appointed to the Executive Council of the Governor General of India as a Labour member
    • In 1946, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of India
    • On 15 August 1947, he took oath as the first Law Minister of independent India.
      •  Subsequently, he was elected Chairperson of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly, and steered the process of drafting of India’s Constitution
    • In 1951, he resigned his ministership, expressing his differences on the Kashmir issue, India’s Foreign Policy and Nehru’s Policy towards the Hindu Code Bill.
    • He published his book, Who were Shudras?
    • In 1955, he published his book titled Thoughts on Linguistic States.
    • He was perhaps India’s most radical thinker who transformed the social and political landscape in the struggle against British Colonialism, by making the downtrodden politically aware of their own situation.
      • Ambedkar famously said to Dalits something that bears immense importance even today – “Educate, Agitate, and Organise”.. 
    • He dedicated the rest of his life for equality, brotherhood and humanity. 
    • He has left behind thought provoking writings and speeches bearing interdisciplinary perspectives, with insightful analysis of socio political situations which evoke intellectual reasons and emotions.
      • His writings have a profound sense of justice manifested in emancipation of marginalised masses.
    • Today ,the Indian Economy and Indian Society are facing many economic and social problems. Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts and actions may guide us for the solution of these problems.
    •  In 1952, Columbia University conferred upon him the degree of LL.D. in recognition of the work done by him in connection with the drafting of India’s Constitution. 
    • He was awarded a Doctorate in 1953, from Osmania University. 
    • He was conferred with the title of “Bodhisattva” by the Buddhist monks at “Jagatik Buddhism Council” in 1954 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
    • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s death anniversary is observed as Mahaparinirvan Diwas across the country.
      • In 1956, he embraced Buddhism in a historic ceremony in Nagpur and died on 6th December 1956.
    • In 1990, the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, was posthumously conferred upon him. 

    Source:PIB

    Syllabus: GS3/Science and Technology

    • India celebrated World Quantum Day 2024 on April 14.
    • The World Quantum Day aims at engaging the general public in the understanding and discussion of Quantum Science and Technology.
    • It is a decentralized and bottom-up initiative launched in 2021 and first celebrated in 2022.
    • Quantum mechanics is a subfield of physics that describes the behavior of particles- atoms, electrons, photons and almost everything in the molecular and submolecular realm.  
    • It explains how extremely small objects simultaneously have the characteristics of both particles (tiny pieces of matter) and waves (a disturbance or variation that transfers energy).
      • This phenomenon is also known as the “wave-particle duality.”
    • In classical mechanics, objects exist in a specific place at a specific time. In quantum mechanics, objects instead exist in a haze of probability; they have a certain chance of being at point A, another chance of being at point B and so on.
    • Quantum Technology exploits the principles of superposition, entanglement, and measurement.
    • Quantum computers use the quantized nature of particles to store and transfer information.
    • Quantum Cryptography: Quantum mechanics enables secure communication through methods like quantum key distribution (QKD). 
    • Quantum Sensors: Quantum mechanics can develop sensors, such as atomic clocks, magnetometers, and gyroscopes having applications in navigation, mineral exploration, and medical imaging.
    • Quantum Mechanics principles are being utilized to develop technologies such as LEDs, lasers, and ultra-precise atomic clocks used in the Global Positioning System.
    • Decoherence: Quantum systems are susceptible to decoherence, which occurs when a system interacts with its environment, leading to the loss of quantum coherence. 
    • Quantum Measurement and Control: Making precise measurements and controlling quantum systems at the individual quantum level is challenging due to noise, imperfections in experimental setups, and the delicate nature of quantum states.
    • Practical Implementation: Building reliable quantum computers, quantum communication networks, and other quantum technologies requires overcoming issues related to scalability, error correction, and compatibility with existing infrastructure.
    • Cost and Accessibility: Quantum technologies are expensive and resource-intensive.
    • The emergence of quantum computers poses a threat to conventional encryption algorithms, necessitating the development of Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) and Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) to ensure quantum-safe encryption. 
    • Robust quantum error correction codes are essential to address errors caused by decoherence and imperfections in quantum hardware. 
    • Investment in research and development of new technologies, including novel qubit architectures, quantum memory devices, and quantum communication protocols, is vital to accelerate the practical application of quantum technologies and overcome current limitations.
    National Quantum Mission (NQM)

    – It was conceptualized by the Prime Minister Science Technology Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) with a total outlay of Rs 6003.65 Crore for a period of eight years. 
    – The Mission aims to seed, nurture, and scale up scientific and industrial R&D and create a vibrant & innovative ecosystem in Quantum Technology (QT). 
    – The Mission aims to establish four Thematic Hubs (T-Hubs) in domains such as,
    1. Quantum Computing, 
    2. Quantum Communication, 
    3. Quantum Sensing & Metrology, and 
    4. Quantum Materials & Devices. 

    Source: PIB

    Syllabus: GS3/Climate Change

    • Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed that global carbon dioxide levels reached a record high in 2023.
    • It is an important heat-trapping gas, also known as a greenhouse gas, that comes from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and natural gas), from wildfires, natural processes like volcanic eruptions, and land use changes like deforestation, peat emissions, and agricultural activities.
    • Since the onset of industrial times in the 18th century, human activities have raised atmospheric CO2 by 50% – meaning the amount of CO2 is now 150% of its value in 1750.

    • This human-induced rise is greater than the natural increase observed at the end of the last ice age 20,000 years ago.
    • The global average atmospheric carbon dioxide was 419.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2023, which is more than 50% higher than pre-industrial levels.
      • This increase was the third-largest in the last decade.
    • The increase between 2022 and 2023 was 2.8 ppm — the 12th year in a row where the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by more than 2 ppm.
    Global Carbon Dioxide Levels
    • The 2023 increase was the third-largest in the last decade and is likely a result of an ongoing increase of fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions, coupled with increased fire emissions possibly as a result of the transition from La Nina to El Nino.
      • El Nino and La Nina are the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
    • In March 2024, the CO2 levels at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, were recorded at 425.38 ppm, up from 420.99 ppm in March 2023.
      • It has the longest record of direct measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere.
    • Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil.
      • Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices, land use, and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.
    • Despite being less abundant than CO2, Methane is more potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
    • Methane levels in the atmosphere are now more than 160% higher than their pre-industrial level.
      • It first rose in the 1980s, and nearly stabilised in the early 2000s before rapidly increasing again in 2007.
      • It went up to an average of 1922.6 parts per billion (ppb) in 2023 — a 10.9 ppb jump over 2022.
      • The year 2023 marked the fifth-highest since 2007. 
    • More than 85% of the increase from 2006 to 2021 was due to increased microbial emissions generated by livestock, agriculture, human and agricultural waste, wetlands and other aquatic sources.
      • The rest could be coming from fossil fuel emissions. 
    • Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural, land use, and industrial activities; combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste; as well as during treatment of wastewater.
    • It is the third-most significant human-caused greenhouse gas, and its concentrations are 25% higher than the pre-industrial level of 270 ppb.
      • The current levels climbed by 1 ppb to 336.7 ppb in 2023.
    • This increase in recent decades is being traced back to the use of nitrogen fertiliser and manure from the expansion and intensification of agriculture. 
    • Without carbon dioxide, Earth’s natural greenhouse effect would be too weak to keep the average global surface temperature above freezing.
      • By adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, people are supercharging the natural greenhouse effect, causing global temperature to rise.
    • The rising CO2 levels have put us in a precarious position, mirroring atmospheric conditions from the Pliocene epoch, a period roughly 4.3 million years ago.
    • During that geological period, sea levels were approximately 23 metres higher than today, and the average temperature was higher than in pre-industrial times.
    • If the current level of emissions persists, there is a 50% chance that global warming of 1.5°C will be exceeded in nine years.
      • This is the opposite trend needed to reverse climate change.
    • CO₂ is the single most important greenhouse gas leading to human-induced climate change. 
    • Although other GHGs are more powerful per molecule in warming the planet than CO₂, the CO₂ emissions stay in the atmosphere for hundreds to thousands of years, making CO₂ the biggest challenge in combating climate change.
    • The increasing levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are a clear indication of the urgent need for action.
    • The data from NOAA highlight the critical state of earth’s carbon cycle and underscore the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    Do you know

    – India submitted its Third National Communication (TNC) and Initial Adaptation Communication to the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2023.
    – India’s net national emissions in 2019 stood at 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), marking a 4.56 per cent increase from 2016 levels and a 115 per cent increase since 1994, according to TNC. 
    – Carbon dioxide continues to remain the most emitted GHG, comprising 79 per cent of total emissions in 2019. 
    – India’s updated Nationally Determined Contributions are to be implemented over the period of 2021-2030, and they include:
    a. Reduction of emissions intensity of its GDP by 45 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 level 
    b. Achievement of 50 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030 

    Source: DTE

    Syllabus: GS2/Government Policy and Interventions; GS3/Infrastructure

    • Recently, the Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme (EMPS), 2024 came into effect to push for development of an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing ecosystem in the country.
    Background:

    – The Ministry of Heavy Industries (erstwhile the Department of Heavy Industry) had launched a scheme, namely Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME-I), for promotion of electric and hybrid vehicles with an outlay of Rs.895 crore from 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2019.
    – Subsequently, the Department of Heavy Industry formulated Phase II of the scheme with an outlay of Rs.10,000 crore which was subsequently enhanced to Rs.11,500 crore for the period from 1st April, 2019 to 31st March 2024.
    – Further, after review of phase II, the Ministry of Heavy Industries formulated the Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme – 2024.
    • It aims to provide further impetus to green mobility and promote electric vehicle manufacturing in the country.
    • Components of the scheme:
      • Subsidies: Demand incentives for electric two-wheelers & electric three-wheelers;
      • Administration of Scheme including IEC (Information, Education & Communication) activities and fee for project management agency.
    • It is a fund-limited scheme with a total outlay of INR 500 crore, offering an incentive of INR 5,000 per kilowatt-hour of battery capacity. 
    • It aims to support the adoption of 3,72,215 EVs, including 3,33,387 electric two-wheelers and 38,828 electric three-wheelers.
    • It will be implemented for a period of four months, from April 1, 2024, to July 31, 2024.
    • Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme – 2024 does well to maintain focus on the segments which have led the electric vehicle revolution in India.
    • Since the FAME I, electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler segments have attracted the highest demand among consumers compared to cars and other commercial segments due to lower acquisition costs, lower running costs, ease of charging and parking, among other reasons.
    • FAME II (2019-2024) refined its approach by emphasising on advanced battery technologies.
      • States came up with electric vehicle policies across the country during the same period, playing a vital role for high two-wheeler and three-wheeler demand, with additional incentives and manufacturing support.
    • Reduction in Financial Support: The total incentive allocation under EMPS has been reduced to INR 500 crore for a period of four months, from April 1-July 31, 2024.
      • It is a significant reduction compared to the INR 11,500 crore outlay of its predecessor, FAME II.
    • Multiple Caps, Fewer Benefits: EMPS offers an incentive of INR 5,000 per kilo-watt hour of battery capacity. However, the amount cannot exceed 15% of the ex-factory cost or INR 10,000 for two-wheelers / INR 25,000 for e-rickshaws and e-carts / INR 50,000 for e-autos, whichever is lower for each segment.
      • It has led to a substantial reduction in monetary support, increasing the price of vehicles.
    • Reduction in Incentives: It is expected to lead to an average incentive reduction by 63% for two-wheelers, 37% for e-autos, and 38% for e-rickshaws.
    • Re-registration Roadblock: EMPS asks for re-registration of original equipment manufacturers (OEM), their dealers, and vehicles on an online portal to be eligible for subsidies.
      • It could potentially create a roadblock for manufacturers and consumers.
    • The Electric Mobility Promotion Scheme 2024 is a significant step towards promoting electric mobility in India. Despite the reduction in financial incentives compared to its predecessor, FAME II, the scheme focuses on key aspects such as the development of an EV manufacturing ecosystem and the promotion of green mobility.
    • As India continues to grapple with environmental challenges, initiatives like EMPS 2024 play a crucial role in steering the country towards a sustainable future.

    Source: DTE

    Syllabus: GS2/Indian Polity

    • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has attracted criticism for reducing the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) based audit of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
    • It is a device used to electronically record and count votes cast in elections. 
    • They have gained popularity in many countries due to their perceived efficiency and accuracy compared to traditional paper-based voting systems. 
    • Advantages:
      • Speed: EVMs can facilitate quicker counting of votes compared to manual counting.
      • Accuracy: They are designed to minimize errors in vote counting and reduce instances of invalid or spoiled ballots.
      • Cost-effectiveness: Over time, EVMs save money compared to traditional paper-based voting systems by reducing the need for printing and storing paper ballots.
    • When a vote is cast, the VVPAT machine, which is attached to the ballot unit (BU) of the EVM,prints out a slip of paper with the voter’s choice indicated on it.
      • Though it remains behind glass, the printed slip is visible for seven seconds so the voter can see that the vote has been recorded correctly, before it falls into a box underneath.
    • The idea of the VVPAT machine first emerged in 2010, when the EC held a meeting with political parties to discuss the EVM and ways to make the polling process more transparent. 
      • The Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 were amended in 2013 to allow for a printer with a drop box to be attached to the EVM. 
    • The VVPAT was used for the first time in the Noksen Assembly constituency of Nagaland in 2013, after which the EC decided to introduce VVPATs in a phased manner.
      • From 2017, 100% of VVPATs began to be used in polls, and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections became the first general election to have 100% of EVMs being attached to VVPATs.
    • The EC asked the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 2018 to come up with a “mathematically sound, statistically robust and practically cogent sample size for the internal audit of the VVPAT slips with electronic result of EVMs.
    • In 2018, the EC mandated the counting of VVPAT slips of one randomly selected polling station per Assembly constituency. 
      • This was increased to five polling stations per Assembly seat, following a Supreme Court judgment in 2019.
    • Limited Impact on Election Integrity: Some critics argue that the VVPAT system may not significantly enhance the integrity of elections in India.
      • They contend that the paper trail serves primarily as a backup mechanism rather than a foolproof solution to address concerns about electronic voting machine tampering or fraud.
    • Technical Glitches: Despite efforts to ensure the reliability of VVPAT machines, instances of technical glitches and malfunctions have been reported during elections in India.
      • These issues can disrupt the voting process, delay results, and raise doubts about the accuracy of the electoral outcome.
    • Higher Cost: Critics argue that the cost of deploying VVPATs is high, especially in a country with vast electoral machinery and limited financial resources.
    • Logistical Challenges: India is one of the largest democracies in the world, with a massive electorate spread across diverse geographic regions.
      • Managing the logistics of deploying VVPAT machines to every polling station, ensuring their proper functioning, poses significant challenges.
    • Time-Consuming Process: The use of VVPATs adds to the time required for voters to cast their ballots, as it involves verifying their choices on the paper trail before finalizing their electronic vote.
      • This lead to longer queues at polling stations, especially during peak voting hours, and deter some voters from participating.
    • 100% Counting: Instead of the VVPAT slip falling in the box, it can be handed over to the voter who shall then place it in a separate ballot box after having verified his or her choice.
      • 100% counting of VVPAT slips should then be done. This will restore full confidence of the people in free and fair elections.
    • Training and Capacity Building: Providing thorough training to election officials, poll workers, and volunteers on the proper use and maintenance of VVPAT machines can help minimize technical glitches and operational challenges during elections. 
    • Improved Technology and Reliability: Continuously investing in research and development to improve the technology and reliability of VVPAT machines is crucial. 
    • Cost-Effectiveness and Sustainability: Exploring ways to reduce the cost and environmental impact of VVPAT implementation without compromising on integrity is essential.
      • This may involve negotiating bulk procurement deals, leveraging technology for efficient deployment and maintenance, and exploring alternative materials or recycling options for paper trails.
    • Overall, while the VVPAT system in India represents a significant step towards enhancing transparency and accountability in elections, it continues to face criticism and scrutiny regarding its effectiveness, cost, and implementation challenges. 
    • Addressing these concerns requires ongoing efforts to improve the reliability, accessibility, and public acceptance of the VVPAT system.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus:GS2/Health

    • The Central government of India has ordered an investigation into organ transplants involving foreign nationals in India.
    • Organ Transplantation/ Donation is a surgical procedure in which an organ/s, tissue or a group of cells are removed from one person and surgically transplanted into another person.
    • Data in the registry of the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) revealed the substantial increase in foreign nationals getting organs through private hospitals. 
    • In 2018 a report  “In Chennai, the hearts beat for foreigners”, exposed alleged irregularities in the allocation of organs to foreign nationals bypassing Indian patients battling end-stage organ failure and on a registered waiting list. 
    National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO)

    – It is a National level organization set up under the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
    Functions: National Network division of NOTTO would function as apex center for All India activities of coordination and networking for procurement and distribution of Organs and Tissues and registry of Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation in the country. 
    • Saving Lives: Organ donation saves lives by providing individuals suffering from organ failure with a chance for a healthier and longer life.
    • Addressing Organ Shortages: There is a global shortage of organs available for transplantation. Organ donation helps address this shortage and increases the pool of organs available for those in need.
    • Promoting Human Solidarity: It is a selfless act that transcends cultural, racial, and geographical boundaries, bringing people together in a shared commitment to saving and improving lives.
    • Raising Awareness: Organ donation initiatives help raise awareness about the importance of donation and transplantation. 
    • Legal and Ethical Considerations: Organ donation is often guided by legal and ethical frameworks that prioritize the autonomy and consent of donors. 
    • High Burden (Demand Versus Supply gap).
    • Poor Infrastructure especially in Govt. sector hospitals.
    • Lack of Awareness of the concept of Brain Stem Death among stakeholders.
    • Poor Awareness and attitude towards organ donation— Poor Deceased Organ donation rate.
    • Lack of Organized systems for organ procurement from deceased donors.
    • Prevention and Control of Organ trading.
    • High Cost (especially for uninsured and poor patients).
    • Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994: The primary legislation related to organ donation and transplantation in India, Transplantation of Human Organs Act, was passed in 1994 and is aimed at regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs for therapeutic purposes and for prevention of commercial dealings in human organs.
    • Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011: allows swapping of organs and widens the donor pool by including grandparents and grandchildren in the list. 
    • Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules (THOT), 2014:  has many provisions to remove the impediments to organ donation while curbing misuse/misinterpretation of the rules. 
    • The Director-General of Health Services (DGHS) has urged the health authorities to ensure that a unique NOTTO-ID for both the donor and recipient of organs is generated by the hospital concerned in all cases of organ transplants. 
    • The States and U.T.s must devise a system of regular inspection of the registered transplant/retrieval hospitals to ensure on-site monitoring of their activities, quality of transplantation, post operative follow-up of donor and recipient, and outcomes of transplantation.
    • The DGHS underscored the need to ensure regular collection and sharing of data of all transplant cases, including those of foreigners.
    Facts Related to Organ Donation

    13th August is observed every year as World Organ Donation Day to raise awareness on Organ Donation. 
    Indian Organ Donation Day was celebrated every year on November 27 but from 2023, the day is being celebrated on August 3 to commemorate the first successful deceased heart transplant in India on 3rd August 1994.
    – NOTTO has declared July as the month of Organ donation.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus :GS 3/s&t

    In News

    Recently ,it has been observed that Geroscience helps in addressing age-Related Diseases.

    About ‘Geroscience’

    • Dr. Daniel Belsky( an epidemiologist at Columbia University) has coined the term ‘geroscience’, meaning geriatric, or related to age. 
    • He has devised a novel blood test which determines the pace at which a person is ageing. 
    • His group has devised a method which studies the formation of methyl groups through an enzyme in the DNA of senior citizens and finds that this methylation is sensitive to ageing.
      • This is often referred to as ‘gerozyme’.
    • Studies  : Several groups are working on drugs and other related methods to modulate the gerozyme, and how these efforts affect his/her aging.
      • One group has suggested the drug called metformin is atool to target aging. 
      • Another group has shown that if we inhibit the enzyme TORC1, it will enhance immunity and reduce infection in the elderly. 
      • The Columbia Aging Centre has found that a balanced diet supports brain health by reducing inflammation, and promotes proper blood flow by supplying essential nutrients which aid cognitive function.

    Source:TH

    Syllabus: GS2/Polity

    Context

    • The Banjara Hills police registered a zero FIR case against the former minister for allegedly making objectionable comments against the Telangana Chief Minister.

    First Information Report (FIR)

    • It is a report of information that reaches the police first at commission of a cognizable offence.
      • The complaint is generally lodged with the police by the victim or by someone on his/her behalf. 
      • Anyone can report the commission of a cognizable offence either orally or in writing. Even a telephonic message can be treated as an FIR.
    • Section 154 of the  Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, deals with the FIR. However the term is not defined in the act.

    What is Zero FIR?

    • When a police station receives a complaint regarding an alleged offense that has been committed in the jurisdiction of another police station, it registers an FIR and then transfers it to the relevant police station for further investigation. This is called a Zero FIR.
      • No regular FIR number is given and after receiving the Zero FIR, the relevant police station registers a fresh FIR and starts the investigation.
    • The provision of Zero FIR came up after the recommendation in the report of the Justice Verma Committee, constituted after the 2012 Nirbhaya case.
    • Purpose: The provision is meant to provide speedy redressal to the victim so that timely action can be taken after the filing of the FIR.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus: GS3/Cybersecurity

    Context

    • In today’s digital era, concerns of doxxing are increasing manifolds.

    About

    • The act of digitally publicising a person’s private details is called doxxing.
      • Such as home addresses, phone numbers, private email IDs, medical conditions, government documents, live locations, etc.
    • It allows abusers and criminals who are thousands of miles away to target victims by putting their private details online for others to exploit.
    • Such information is usually obtained through illegal methods such as hacking or theft.
    • Social media companies are bound by India’s IT Rules, submitting a cybercrime complaint is one way to make sure the platform is forced to take action quickly.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus :GS 3/S&T

    In News

    The  study of how to get to low temperatures and of how materials behave when they get there was recently seen in the news .

    About Cryogenics 

    • It is the science of materials at temperatures below negative 153 degrees C.
      • The technologies by which materials are cooled up to this temperature are collected under the term refrigeration.
    • Prof. Kamerlingh Onnes of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands first used the word in 1894 to describe the art and science of producing much lower temperatures.
      • He used the word in reference to the liquefaction of permanent gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium.
    • Cryogenics deals with thermal conditions in which even the substances that we encounter in our daily lives as gases — such as hydrogen, nitrogen and, of course, the air in our atmosphere — are liquid.
      • This field typically uses helium and nitrogen as the cryogenic fluid, the thing that cools a substance. 
    • Applications : Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices used in medical diagnostics use cryogenic fluids to cool their magnets.
      • ISRO has accomplished a major milestone in the human rating of its CE20 cryogenic engine that powers the cryogenic stage of the human-rated LVM3 launch vehicle for Gaganyaan missions, 

    Source:TH

    Syllabus:GS3/Internal Security

    Context

    • Indian Army celebrated 40 years of ‘Operation Meghdoot’ on Siachen Glacier

    Operation Meghdoot

    • By 1984, Pakistan’s cartographic aggression in the uncharted territory of Ladakh, allowing foreign mountaineering expeditions in Siachen, was becoming a cause of concern.
    • To legitimize its claim on Siachen, on 13 April 1984, the Indian Army launched Operation Meghdoot, to secure strategic heights on Siachen with the deployment of troops.
    • The operation involved the airlifting of Indian Army soldiers by the IAF and dropping them on the glacial peaks.
      • The IAF played a crucial role in supporting Operation Meghdoot, initially focusing on transport and helicopter aircraft for troop and material transport. Gradually, the IAF expanded its role, deploying fighter aircraft.

    Siachen Glacier

    • The 78 km long Glacier is located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas.
    • It is just northeast of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends.
    • It is the longest glacier in Karakoram and second-longest in the world’s non-polar areas after Fedchenko Glacier in Tajikistan.
    Operation Meghdoot

    Source: PIB

    Syllabus: Species in News

    Context:

    • Recently, Wild Bluebells have bloomed in the Hallerbos, a forest near the Belgian city of Halle, near Brussels in Belgium.

    About the Wild Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scriptus):

    • It is a perennial flowering plant that is native to Europe and Western Asia.

    • It is a member of the Asparagaceae family and is closely related to other members of the Hyacinthoides genus, such as Spanish bluebells and Italian bluebells.
    • It is known for its clusters of fragrant, blue or purple bell-shaped flowers that are borne on tall, slender stems.
    • The plant is attractive to pollinators and is a popular nectar source for bees, butterflies, and other insects.

    Medicinal Property:

    • It is used medicinally in some traditional cultures and has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems and skin irritation.

    Threat:

    • Climate change, habitat loss, and human interference are some of the challenges that these delicate flowers must overcome to survive.

    Source: TH

    Syllabus: GS3/Science and Technology

    Context:

    • Recently, Astronomers unravelled the mystery of the ‘Dragon’s Egg’ Nebula.

    About the Dragon’s Egg Nebula (aka NGC 6164/6165):

    • It is a cloud of gas and dust surrounding a pair of stars called HD 148937, located in the Milky Way Galaxy, about 3,700 light-years from Earth in the constellation Norma.
    • It is located relatively near a larger nebula complex called the Fighting Dragons of Ara.
    • The stars inside the Dragon’s Egg appear to have started out 4-6 million years ago as a triple system – three stars born at the same time and gravitationally bound.

    Mystery:

    • It houses two large stars, one of which has a magnetic field, similar to our sun.
      • However, its companion star does not possess a magnetic field.
    • The magnetic star in the Dragon’s Egg Nebula is about 30 times more massive than the sun.
      • Its remaining companion is about 26.5 times more massive than the sun.
    • They orbit at a distance from each other varying from seven to 60 times the distance between Earth and the sun.
    • Furthermore, such massive stars are not usually associated with nebulae.

    Stellar Fratricide:

    • Researchers have unravelled the mystery, attributing the magnetic field to a phenomenon they refer to as Stellar Fratricide.
    • In this phenomenon, the scientists predicted that the larger star appears to have consumed a smaller sibling star.
    • The blending of stellar material during such a merger or hostile takeover could create a magnetic field in the combined star born in this process.

    Source: Reuters