Daily Current Affairs

14TH FEBRUARY,2021 : MOST POWERFUL DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS CONCEPTS

UPSC PRELIMS+MAINS 

Index

  1. A) Science and Technology, Defence, Space
  2. Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) (TH)
  3. NGC 6397, one of the closest globular clusters to Earth (TH)
  4. Human Genome Project and nORFs (TH)
  5. B) Art, Culture and History
  6. Chandernagore- a French territory along Hooghly river in British India (IE)
  7. C) Polity, Bills, Acts and Judgments
  8. Right to Protest (TH)
  9. D) Miscellaneous
  10. What is NetWire? (TH)
  11. Indian Agriculture (PIB)
  12. Production of Pulses in India (PIB)

 

A) Science and Technology, Defence, Space

  1. Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) (TH)

  • Context: A case of Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) has been reported from Kerala’s Wayanad district.
  • KFD, also known as monkey fever, is a viral disease transmitted to humans through a species of ticks usually found on monkeys.

Analysis

  • Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) is a zoonotic disease associated, among others, with occasional neurological & hemorrhagic manifestations.
  • A zoonotic disease is a disease spread between animals and people.
  • Zoonotic diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.
  • It derives its name from the forest range where the virus was first isolated.
  • It is also known as “monkey disease/monkey fever” because of its association with monkey deaths.

Incidence in India

  • The disease was first reported in 1957 from Shimoga district, Karnataka.
  • Monkey deaths and human cases have now been reported from the neighboring states bordering Karnataka viz., Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Mode of transmission

  • KFDV is transmitted by an infected tick, especially nymphal stage ticks.
  • Rodents, shrews, and monkeys are common hosts for KFDV after being bitten by an infected tick.
  • When infected monkeys die, the ticks drop from their body, thereby generating “hot spots” of infectious ticks that further spread the disease.
  • Humans can get the disease form an infected tick bite or by contact with an infected animal, such as sick or recently dead monkey.
  • Available data does not suggest any human-to-human transmission.
  • The epidemic period usually begins in October or November and peaks from January to April, then declines by May and June.
  • The epidemic/ outbreaks relate to the activity of nymphs (an immature form of an insect that does not change greatly as it grows, e.g. a dragonfly, mayfly, or locust), which is very high during November to May.
  1. NGC 6397, one of the closest globular clusters to Earth (TH)

  • Context: Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have found evidence for dozens of stellar-mass black holes lurking in the core-collapsed, globular cluster NGC 6397.
  • NGC 6397 is a cluster of stars, which at 7,800 light years lies in the Ara constellation and is among the closest globular clusters to the earth.

Analysis

  • Globular clusters are densely packed collections of ancient stars. Roughly spherical in shape, they contain hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, of stars.
  • Studying them helps astronomers estimate the age of the universe or figure out where the center of a galaxy lies
  • There are about 150 known globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy.
  • Omega Centauri — containing as many as 10 million stars — is by far the largest globular cluster associated with our Milky Way galaxy.
  • Globular clusters are formed from giant molecular clouds, or huge masses of gas that form stars as they collapse. Because there is less free gas available now than at the beginning of the universe, globular clusters generally cannot form today.
  • Globular clusters orbit galaxies in elliptical orbits and they take perhaps a few hundred million years to complete one revolution
  • Globular clusters also rotate, but not as much as a galaxy such as the Milky Way.
  • They are the oldest, largest and most massive type of star cluster and that they contain the oldest stars. Their age can be demonstrated by their almost complete lack of metals i.e. elements heavier than the hydrogen and helium present in the early universe before the first stars and galaxies were born. The heavier elements were forged in star interiors.
  • Globular star cluster are very symmetrical in shape, and are densest toward their centers.
  1. Human Genome Project and nORFs (TH)

  • In 2000, scientists announced the completion of a draft sequence of the human genome, a historic landmark for genetic research.
  • The Human Genome Project helped map our genes, strengthened the study of human diseases and aided new drug discovery.
  • But even after two decades, the number of ‘known’ genes – encoding around 20,000 ‘known’ proteins – has remained constant.
  • It is also a conundrum why only 1.5% of the entire human genome codes for proteins.
  • A team from the University of Cambridge set out to find whether new genes emerge in the genome of living organisms, and if they do, how they do so.
  • In the last seven years, the team extensively studied the human genome and has now catalogued 1,94,000 novel regions.
  • These ‘novel’ genomic regions cannot be defined by our current ‘definition’ of a gene. Hence, we call these novel regions – novel Open Reading Frames or as nORFs.
  • We show that the mutations in nORFs do have physiological consequences and a majority of mutations that are often annotated as benign have to be re-interpreted.

 B) Art, Culture and History

4.Chandernagore- a French territory along Hooghly river in British India (IE)

  • Context: State government in West bengal launched a boat ride – named European Settlements Boat Ride (ESBR) – from Kolkata to Serampore and Chandernagore and back.
  • History shows that the Danes (ethnic group native to Denmark) had settled in Serampore.
  • The French did the same in then Chandernagore. While Puducherry and Diu are well-known French settlements, little is known about European history along the Hooghly River.

Analysis

  • Danes acquired land in Serampore from the Nawab of Bengal in the mid-18th century. Srirampur was christened “Frederiknagore” by the Danes in honour of their king Frederik V. When Colonel Ole Bie was appointed the first Crown Regent of Serampore in 1776, his administration brought more prosperity to the town and its Danish merchants.
  • In 1845, Frederiknagore was sold to the British East India Company, and rechristened Serampore.

About Chandernagore / Chandannagar

  • It was established as a French colony in 1673, after obtaining permission from Ibrahim Khan, the then Nawab of Bengal, to establish a trading post on the right bank of the river Hooghly.
  • It became a permanent French settlement in 1688
  • Joseph Francois Dupleix was appointed Governor of the city in 1730.
  • In 1756 war broke out between France and Great Britain, and the British Navy captured Chandannagar on 23 March 1757.
  • Chandernagore was restored to the French in 1763, but recaptured by the British in 1794. The city was returned to France in 1816, along with a 3 sq miles (7.8 km2) enclave of surrounding territory.
  • It was governed as part of French India until 1950, under the political control of the governor-general in Pondicherry until the town was acceded to India in 1950.
  • Like other French colonies in India, Chandannagar was governed from Pondicherry.

C) Polity, Bills, Acts and Judgments

5.Right to Protest (TH)

  • Context: The Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its judgement that the Shaheen Bagh protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act were inconvenient for commuters.

Analysis

  • The right to protest cannot be any time and everywhere. There may be some spontaneous protests but in case of prolonged dissent or protest, there cannot be continued occupation of public place affecting the rights of others.
  • On October 7, the court had concluded that protesters should express their dissent only in designated areas chosen by the administration.
  • Though the judgment had upheld the right to peaceful protest against a law, it unequivocally made it clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied, and that too indefinitely. The right of the protester has to be balanced with the right of the commuter.

Freedom of Assembly [Article 19(ii)]

  • Every citizen has the right to assemble peaceably and without arms.
  • It includes the right to hold public meetings, demonstrations and take out processions.
  • This freedom can be exercised only on public land and the assembly must be peaceful and unarmed.
  • This provision does not protect violent, disorderly, riotous assemblies, or one that causes breach of public peace or one that involves arms.
  • This right does not include the right to strike.
  • The State can impose reasonable restrictions on the exercise of right of assembly on two grounds, namely, sovereignty and integrity of India and public order including the maintenance of traffic in the area concerned.
  • Under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (1973), a magistrate can restrain an assembly, meeting or procession if there is a risk of obstruction, annoyance or danger to human life, health or safety or a disturbance of the public tranquillity or a riot or any affray.
  • Under Section 141 of the Indian Penal Code, as assembly of five or more persons becomes unlawful if the object is:
  • (a) to resist the execution of any law or legal process;
  • (b) to forcibly occupy the property of some person;
  • (c) to commit any mischief or criminal trespass;
  • (d) to force some person to do an illegal act; and
  • (e) to threaten the government or its officials on exercising lawful powers.

D) Miscellaneous

6.What is NetWire?

  • NetWire, which first surfaced in 2012, is a well-known malware. It is also one of the most active ones around.
  • It is a remote access trojan, or RAT, which gives control of the infected system to an attacker. Such malware can log keystrokes and compromise passwords.
  • Malware, according to cybersecurity experts, essentially do two things. One is data exfiltration, which means stealing data. Most anti-virus software are equipped to prevent this. The other involves infiltrating a system, and this has proven to be far more challenging for anti-virus software.
  • NetWire is described as an off-the-shelf malware, while something like Pegasus, which used a bug in WhatsApp to infiltrate users’ phones in 2019, is custom-made and sold to nations.
  1. Indian Agriculture (PIB)

  • The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) has been encouraging diversified production of crops such as pulses, coarse cereals, nutri cereals, commercial crops, oilseeds etc. under National Food Security Mission (NFSM).
  • Crop Diversification Programme (CDP), a sub scheme of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), is being implemented in original green revolution states viz. Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh to diversify paddy area towards alternative crops and shifting of tobacco farming to alternative crops/cropping system in tobacco growing states.
  1. Production of Pulses in India (PIB)

  • India is the biggest producer and consumer of pulses in the world and it has almost achieved self-sufficiency in pulses.
  • In the year 2019-20, India accounted for about 23.62% of the world’s production.
  • Pulses are nutritious and rich in protein, they are important for the food basket, especially in a country like India which is predominantly vegetarian.
  • Pulses have low water consumption and can be grown in dry and rain-fed areas.
  • It improves soil fertility by conserving nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for fertilizers and therefore reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.

 

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