DAILY PRELIMS NEWSLETTER (UPSC) |10 Mar 2021| RaghukulCS

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

10 March 2021

Table Of Contents

Environment…………………………………………………………. 1
  • Similipal Biosphere Reserve ……………………………………. 1
Science and Technology ……………………………………….. 1
  • Zolgensma Gene Therepy ………………………………………….. 1
  • NISAR (NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) ……… 2
Economy ………………………………………………………………. 2
  • Banks Board Bureau (BBB): ……………………………………….. 2
International Relations…………………………………………. 3
  • Quadrilateral Dialogue (QUAD) …………………………………. 3
News in Short ……………………………………………………… 3
  • Van Dhan Vikas Kendras …………………………………………….. 3
  • International Women’s Day ………………………………………… 3
  • World Customs Organisation ……………………………………… 3

Environment

Similipal Biosphere Reserve

Why in News?

Recently, a massive forest fire broke out in Similipal Biosphere Reserve in Odisha.

About Similipal BR:

  • Similipal derives its name from ‘Simul’ (silk cotton) tree prevalent in the region.
  • It was brought under Project Tiger in the year 1973.
  • It is a part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009.
  • Associated Protected Areas:
    • Mayurbhanj Elephant Reserve,
    • Similipal Tiger Reserve,
    • Hadagarh Wildlife sanctuary and
    • Kuldiha wildlife sanctuary.
  • It is situated in Mayurbhanj District of Odisha, i.e..,on the eastern end of the Eastern Ghat.
  • Vegetation:
    • tropical semi-evergreen forests,
    • tropical moist deciduous forests,
    • dry deciduous hill forests,
    • high level sal forests and
    • sprawling meadows.
  • Tribes
    • The ErengaKharias,
    • The Mankirdias,

They inhabit the reserve’s forests and practise traditional agricultural practices.

Science and Technology

ZolgensmaGene Therepy

Why in News?

Recently, world’s most expensive drug Zolgensma was approved by England to treat Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

About Spinal Muscular Atrophy

  • It is a rare genetic disease.
  • The person suffering from this disease cannot control the movement of their muscles.
  • It is caused by the loss of nerve cells which carries the electrical signals from the brain to the muscles.
    • The protein needed for this signalling is coded by a particular gene. Everyone has two copies of this gene- one each from mother and father. A child develops this disorder only when both the copies are faulty.
  • Vulnerable Group: The disease mostly affects babies and children. With time, it progresses and makes it extremely difficult for the babies to carry out basic activities like sitting up, lifting their head, or swallowing milk.

About Zolgensma Gene therapy

  • Gene therapy treatment named Zolgensma replaces the faulty gene.
  • Zolgensmasupplies a healthy copy of the faulty gene. It allows nerve cells to then start producing the needed protein.

NISAR (NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar)

Why in News?

ISRO has completed the development of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) of joint earth observation satellite mission with NASA.

About NISAR:

  • NISAR is a dual frequency (L & S Band) Radar Imaging Satellite System.
  • It will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency.
  • It will be launched in the Sun Synchronous Low -Earth Orbit.
  • NISAR would provide information about a place more frequently, for e.g. it would revisit a particular spot and give the next round of info about it, in two to five days, unlike 20-25 days presently taken.
  • Objectives:
    • Estimation of soil moisture
    • Agriculture and forest biomass
    • Estimation of glacier
    • Snow and possibility of landslide
  • Other Applications: Observe and study of compelling issues like
    • ecosystem disturbances,
    • ice-sheet collapse, and
    • natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and landslides.

Economy

Banks Board Bureau (BBB):

Why in News?

The Banks Board Bureau may be entrusted with the task to select MDs of the proposed Development Financial Institution (DFI) being set up to accelerate infrastructure financing.
The DFI is being setup under the ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP).

About BBB:

  • It was set up in 2016 as an autonomous body on the recommendations of the RBI-appointed PJ Nayak Committee.
  • Composition:
  • Chairman,
  • Three ex-officio members including the Deputy Governor of RBI
  • Five expert members, two of which are from the private sector.

Key Functions of BBB:

  • Recommends appointment of whole-time directors and non-executive chairpersons of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and other state-owned financial institutions.
  • Recommends personnel for appointment as directors in government-owned insurance
  • Engages with the board of directors of PSBs to formulate appropriate growth strategies.
  • Also tasked with improving corporate governance at PSBs etc.
NOTE:  The Ministry of Finance takes the final decision on the appointments in consultation with the PMO.

International Relations

Quadrilateral Dialogue (QUAD)

Why in News?

White House in a press release has highlighted that there will be a summit level meeting of QUAD Countries on March 12.

About Quad:

  • The QUAD Group is an informal strategic dialogue mechanism with four members:
    • India,
    • Japan,
    • Australia,
  • The shared objective is to ensure and sustain a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
  • The idea for the QUAD Group is attributed to former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe who, formally, mooted it in 2007.
  • However, it was in 2017, that the first official talks under the QUAD took place, in Manila, the Philippines.

     

    News in Short

    Van Dhan Vikas Kendras

    ·         An initiative under Ministry of Tribal Affairs which aims to promote Minor Forest Produce centric livelihood development of tribal gatherers and artisans.

    ·         It mainstreams the tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to MFP at grassroots level.

    ·         Implementation Agency at national level is TRIFED.

    International Women’s Day
     

    ·         It is celebrated on March 8 every year.

    ·         In the United Nations, it was observed for the first time in 1975.

    ·         The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Choose To Challenge’

    World Customs Organisation

    ·         WCO was established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC).

    ·         It is an independent intergovernmental body.

    ·         It aims to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.

    ·         India was the vice-chair (regional head) of the Asia Pacific region of the WCO for a period of two years which lasted till June, 2020.

    ·         It is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters..

    ·         Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

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