Daily Current Affairs Date : 14thMarch,2022
(30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)
Covers 4 Most relevant Sources
- The Hindu
- Indian Express
- Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) (TH, pg 6)
- Nutraceuticals (TH, pg 9)
- Bugyals: The Alpine Meadows of India (IE)
- Chilika Lake (TH, pg 9)
- Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) (PIB)
- Santosh Trophy (TH, pg 5)
- Gender Samwaad (PIB)
Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) (TH, pg 6)
- Context:The accidental firing of a missile by India into Pakistan could have led to serious, unintended escalation of tensions between the two nuclear-armed countries, but, fortunately, that did not happen.
What is the MTCR?
- The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is an informal political understanding among states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology.
- It was formed in 1987 by the G-7 industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States).
- There are currently 35 countries (March 2022) that are members (Partners) of the MTCR, including Australia, India and
- China, Pakistan, Iran and Israel are not its members.
Is the MTCR a treaty?
- The MTCR is not a treaty and does not impose any legally binding obligations on Partners (members).
- Rather, it is an informal political understanding among states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology.
What are the main objectives of the MTCR?
- The MTCR seeks to limit the risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) (i.e., nuclear, chemical and biological weapons) by controlling exports of goods and technologies that could make a contribution to delivery systems (other than manned aircraft) for such weapons.
- In this context, the Regime places particular focus on rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kg to a range of at least 300 km and on equipment, software, and technology for such systems.
Are exports to Partners treated differently than exports to non-Partners?
- The MTCR Guidelines do not distinguish between exports to Partners and exports to non-Partners.
- Moreover, the MTCR Partners have explicitly affirmed that membership in the Regime provides no entitlement to obtain technology from another Partner and no obligation to supply it.
- Partners are expected to exercise appropriate accountability and restraint in trade among Partners, just as they would in trade between Partners and non-Partners.
What benefits do Partners get by becoming members of the MTCR?
- Partners can play an active role in curbing the global missile non-proliferation threat.
Is there a central administrative body for the MTCR?
- The MTCR has no formal secretariat. France serves as the Regime’s Point of Contact (POC).
What is the relationship between the MTCR and the UN?
- While there is no formal linkage, the activities of the MTCR are consistent with the UN’s non-proliferation and export control efforts.
- For example, applying the MTCR Guidelines and Annex on a national basis helps countries to meet their export control obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1540.
Nutraceuticals (TH, pg 9)
- Context: Aimed at providing accessible, standardised and affordable generic medicines, the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras now have added nutraceuticals products, including protein powder and bar, malt-based food supplements and immunity bar for its customers.
What are Nutraceuticals?
- Nutraceuticals – “nutrient” (a nourishing food component) and “pharmaceutical” (a medical drug) – is a broad umbrella term that is used to describe any product derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods.
- They can be considered non-specific biological therapies used to promote general well-being, control symptoms and prevent malignant processes.
- Nutraceuticals have also been called medical foods, designer foods, phytochemicals, farmaceuticals, functional foods and nutritional supplements.
- They include such everyday products as “bio” yoghurts and fortified breakfast cereals, as well as vitamins, herbal remedies and even genetically modified foods and supplements.
- Functional food is a category which includes whole foods and fortified, enriched or enhanced dietary components that may reduce the risk of chronic disease and provide a health-benefit beyond the traditional nutrients it contains.
- Medical food is formulated to be consumed or administered internally, under the supervision of a qualified physician. Its intended use is a specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements are established by the medical evaluation (on the basis of recognized scientific principle).
- Farmaceuticals are medically valuable components produced from modified agricultural crops or animals. The term is a combination of the words “farm” and “pharmaceuticals”.
- Nutraseuticals are substances, which usually do not have patent protection. In contrast pharmaceuticals possess patent protection.
- Both pharmaceutical and nutraceutical compounds might be used to cure or prevent diseases, but only pharmaceutical compounds need governmental sanction.
Potential health benefits
- They could have a role in a plethora of biological processes, including antioxidant defenses, cell proliferation, gene expression, and safeguarding of mitochondrial integrity.
- Therefore, nutraceuticals may be used to improve health, prevent chronic diseases, postpone the aging process (and in turn increase life expectancy), increase immunity or just support functions and integrity of the body.
- They are considered to be healthy sources for prevention of life threatening diseases such as diabetes, renal and gastrointestinal disorders, as well as different infections.
- A wide range of nutraceuticals have been shown to impose crucial roles in immune status and susceptibility to certain disease states.
- They also exhibit diseases modifying indications related to oxidative stress including allergy, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, eye conditions, Parkinson’s diseases and obesity.
Regulations in India
- In India FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) regulates and set product standards regarding Nutraceuticals.
- Standards for Health supplements and Nutraceuticals are specified under Food Safety and Standards (Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Functional Food, and Novel Food) Regulations, 2016.
- These regulations cover eight categories of Functional foods, namely, Health Supplements, Nutraceuticals, Food for Special Dietary Use, Food for Special Medical Purpose, Specialty food containing plant or botanicals, Foods containing Probiotics, Foods containing Prebiotics and Novel Foods.
Nutrients, Metabolism, and Nutraceuticals
- Nutrients are the chemical elements that make up food.
- Nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats provide energy while other nutrients like vitamins, water, electrolytes, and minerals are needed for a healthy metabolism.
- Nutraceuticals can provide extra nutrients needed for optimum metabolic reaction and for your body to function properly.
- Metabolism is a process that involves all chemical reactions that take place in the body to convert the food we eat into energy, which is then used to synthesize compounds needed by all cells of the body. Metabolism maintains the living state of all cells and organs.
- Metabolism breaks down the nutrients and if all the nutrients are present in the right amount, our body, including all the organs and systems, function well. This means that your body can heal or repair properly and quickly.
- But if you don’t have enough nutrients, then your body takes longer to repair or you might deal with harmful complications.
Bugyals: The Alpine Meadows of India (IE)
- Context: Bodies of two tourists have been found in the snow at Gorson Bugyal near the snow sports site in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district.
- Alpine meadows or Bugyals are alpine pasture lands found at an elevation of 3300 mts to 4000 m in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand state.
- Alpine Pastures are also found in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
- During the spring season, the sloped and flat meadows are covered with green grass or seasonal alpine flora and remain covered with snow in winters.
- Ecologically, they absorb large quantities of water coming from the glaciers thus acting as a buffer to reduce chances of natural disasters in low lying areas.
- These biodiversity rich ecosystems are not only treasure of life saving medicinal herbs but also home to various endangered wildlife flora and fauna
- Considering that the major rivers in the Himalayan region originate in these alpine meadows, their conservation is of utmost importance.
Threats to Bugyals
- Presently, these ecological treasures are facing several threats like land degradation, soil erosion, overgrazing and climate change
What is alpine vegetation?
- Alpine vegetation starts above the normal tree line (over 3000m) and is shaped by extreme conditions.
- Alpine plants must adapt to high winds, low temperatures, scouring and burial by snow and ice, intense solar radiation, and a short growing season.
- As a result, plants are shorter, some grow slowly, and many have leaves resistant to frost damage and desiccation.
- Alpine communities are sensitive to changes in weather and climate, air quality that affects soil nutrients available to plants, and human and natural disturbance.
Sub-Alpine and Alpine Vegetation in India
- It occurs above 2700m of altitude in the eastern Himalayas and above 3000m in the western Himalayas.
- It is a dense scrubby forest of Silver Fur, Juniper, Pine, Birch and Rhododendron.
- The alpine forests give way to alpine grasslands (Bugyals in India) through shrubs and scrub. These extend upwards up to the snowline.
Do you know?
- Van Gujjars are the forest-dwelling nomadic community inhabiting the foothills of the Himalayan States such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
- Usually, they migrate to the bugyals (grasslands) located in the upper Himalayas with their buffaloes and return only at the end of monsoons to their makeshift huts in the foothills.
Chilika Lake (TH, pg 9)
- Context: The Odisha government has proposed to ban movement of mechanised fishing boats in the Mangalajodi area of the Chilika lake, an important haunt of migratory birds, to provide the winged guests an undisturbed ecosystem for six months every year.
- Note: You have already prepared this topic in detail from the6 Jan 22 file.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) (PIB)
- Context: Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) organised a seminar on 25 Years of TRAI Act.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is a statutory body was established by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997.
- TRAI regulates telecom services including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.
- The Chairperson and other members of TRAI shall hold their office for a term of three years or till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- The function of the TRAI is to make recommendations on the following matters:
- Need for introduction of new service provider.
- Revocation of license for non-compliance of terms and conditions of licence.
- Measures to facilitate competition and promote efficiency in the operation of telecommunication services to facilitate their growth.
- Technological improvements in the services provided by the service providers.
- Laying down the standards of quality of service to be provided by the service providers.
- Timely and officially notifying the rates at which the telecommunication services within India and outside India shall be provided under the TRAI Act, 1997.
- The recommendations of the TRAI are not binding upon the Central Government.
Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal(TDSAT)
- The TRAI Act was amended in 2000 which established a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI.
- The TDSAT consists of a Chairperson and two other members, all to be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
- The person to be appointed as the Chairpersonshould be qualified for a Judge of the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice of a High Court.
- The Chairperson and the other members of TDSAT shall hold office for a term of maximum three years or seventy years (for Chairperson), whichever is earlier.
- In the case of members other than the Chairperson, the maximum age is sixty-five years.
- An order passed by TDSAT is executable as a decree of civil court; the Tribunal has all the powers of a civil court.
- It is not bound by the procedure laid down by the Code of Civil Procedure but guided by the principles of natural justice.
- The Tribunal has the powers to regulate its own procedure.
Santosh Trophy (TH, pg 5)
- Context: Kerela Minister for Sports released the mascot of the Santosh Trophy Football Championship.
- The Senior National Football Championship or Santosh Trophy is a football knock-out competition.
- It is conducted by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), the sport’s governing body in India.
- In Santosh Trophy all the states of the country along with some government institutions participate.
- This is held annually since 1941. Bengal was the first winner of the competition held in 1941.
- The trophy is named after the late Maharaja Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh, now in Bangladesh.
- Before the starting of the National Football League (Club Football) in 1996, the Santosh Trophy was considered the top domestic championship in India.
Past glories of Indian Football
- Also known as The Blue Tigers, the Senior Men’s National Team is eligible to take part in the FIFA World Cup, Asian Cup and various Invitational, International and Friendly matches involving National ‘A’ Teams.
- The team’s first foray as an Independent Nation was in the first round of the 1948 Summer Olympics against France.
- The Asian Games Gold in 1951 was India’s first-ever major trophy in men’s football.
- India won Asian Games Gold in Footbal again in the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta.
Gender Samwaad (PIB)
- Over 3000 State Mission staff and Self-Help Group (SHG) members logged in from 34 states to attend the third edition of ‘Gender Samwaad’ organised by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development.
- It is a national virtual initiative under the DAY-NRLM to generate greater awareness on the mission’s interventions across the country with a gender lens.