Daily Prelims Newsletter(UPSC)|24 May 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

24 May 2021

Table Of Contents

  • Seaweeds 
Science and Technology 
  • White Fungus
Art and Culture 
  • Mongolian Kanjur
  • Basavanna
International Relations



Why in News?

There is a research underway to develop clothes out of seaweeds and to monetise it.

About Seaweeds:

  • They are the primitive, marine non-flowering marine algae without root, stem and leaves, play a major role in marine ecosystems.
  • Large seaweeds form dense underwater forests known as kelp forests, which act as underwater nurseries for fish, snails and sea urchins.
  • Seaweeds are found mostly in the intertidal region, in shallow and deep waters of the sea and also in estuaries and backwaters.
  • The southern Gulf of Mannar’s rocky intertidal and lower intertidal regions have rich populations of several seaweed species.

Ecological Importance of Seaweeds:

  • Seaweeds absorb the excessnutrients and balance out the ecosystem, when waste from agriculture, industries, aquaculture and households cause nutrient imbalance leading to algal blooming in the ocean.
  • Seaweeds trap and remove excess amount of iron and other metals including heavy metals in the ocean water.
  • The seaweeds derive nutrition through photosynthesis of sunlight and nutrients present in seawater. They release oxygen through every part of their bodies.
  • They also supply organic nutrients to other marine life forms.
  • Ocean afforestation: Seaweed has a significant role in mitigating climate change. It can sequester much Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Hence, there is a proposal termed as ‘Ocean afforestation’ for farming seaweed to remove carbon.

Other uses:

  • They can be used as fertilizers.
  • When livestock is fed with seaweed, methane emission from cattle may be reduced substantially.
  • They can be buried in beach dunes to combat beach erosion.
  • It is used as an ingredient in preparing toothpaste, cosmetics and paints.

Science and Technology

White Fungus

Why in News

As the various governments notify black fungus or mucormycosis as an epidemic, an infection called white fungus or Candidiasis has also been found to affect some people.

About White Fungus:

  • Covid-19 patients are more prone to white fungus as it affects the lungs and similar symptoms are created like that of coronavirus.
  • White Fungus is a fungal infection caused by a yeast (a type of fungus) called as Candida.
  • Candida normally thrives on the skin and inside the body, in places like the mouth, throat, gut, and vagina, without causing any problem.
  • Candida start causing infections when it grows out of control and enters deep into the body like the bloodstream or internal organs kidney, heart, or brain).


  • The disease can be caused due to low immunity, or if people come in contact with itemscontaining these like water, etc.
  • Vulnerable Population: Children and Women.
  • White fungus is also more likely to affect people with compromised immune systems, or some pre-existing medical conditions, AIDS, a recent kidney transplant or diabetes.


  • Symptoms aresimilar to Covid if it infects the lungs.
  • It affects the lungs, nails, skin, stomach, kidney, brain, private parts, and mouth.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

  • CT scans or X-Rays can reveal the disease.
  • Mostly treated with known anti-fungal medications.

Art and Culture

Mongolian Kanjur

Why in News?

Recently, Ministry of Culture has informed that the reprinting of about 100 sets of sacred Mongolian Kanjuris expected be completed by next year for further distribution in the main centres of Buddhism in Mongolia.

About Mongolian Kanjur:

  • It is one of theBuddhist canonical textscontaining 108 volumes.
  • Itis considered to be the most important religious text of Mongolia.
  • It acts as a source to provide cultural identity to Mongolian people.
  • In the Mongolian language, ‘Kanjur’ literally means ‘Concise Orders’, i.e., the words of Lord Buddha.
  • It has been translated from Tibetan to classical Mongolian language.

Related Information: National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM)

  • NMMwas launched in 2003 by the GoI with the mandate of documenting, conserving, and disseminating the knowledge preserved in the manuscripts.
  • A manuscript is a handwritten composition on paper, cloth, bark, metal, palm leaf or any other material dating back at least seventy-five years.Itmust have significant scientific, historical, or aesthetic value.
  • Lithographs and the printed volumes are not considered as manuscripts.
  • One of the objectives of the NMM is to publish rare and unpublished manuscripts to spread the knowledge enshrined in them to researchers, scholars and the general public at large.
  • It is under the Ministry of Culture.


Recently, Basava Jayanti was observed marking the birth anniversary of Lord Basavanna, the 12th-century poet-philosopher, and also the founder of the Lingayat faith.

About Basavanna:

  • Basavanna was a philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet and also a social reformer during the period of the Kalachuri-dynasty king Bijjala I in Karnataka.
  • He spread social awareness through his poetry, popularly called as
  • He rejected gender or social discrimination, superstitions and rituals.
  • He introducednew public institutionslike the AnubhavaMantapa (or, the hall of spiritual experience), to discuss spiritual and mundane questions of life, in open.
    • It welcomed men and women from all socio-economic backgrounds.
  • He inspired a new devotional movement named Virashaivas, (ardent, heroic worshippers of Shiva).
  • He championed devotional worship rejecting temple worship and rituals led by Brahmins.
  • Such worship was to be replaced with personalized direct worship of Shiva through practices like individually wearing icons and symbols like a small linga.

International Relations


Why in News?

1stBRICS Employment Working Group (EWG) meeting was recently held at New Delhi in virtual format.India has also assumed BRICS Presidency this year.

About BRICS:

  • BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
  • The British Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC in 2001 to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
  • The grouping was formalisedin 2006.
  • South Africa joined BRIC in 2010, after which the group adopted the changed acronym BRICS.
  • The chairmanship of BRICS is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
  • The BRICS Leaders’ Summit is convened annually.

Related Information: New Development Bank

  • During the Sixth BRICS Summit in 2014the leaders agreed to establish the New Development Bank (NDB)byFortaleza Declaration.
  • The aim of the bank is to mobilize funds for infrastructure and sustainable development in the countries.
  • The ownership structure of NDB is unique, as each of the BRICS countries have an equal share and no country has any veto power.
  • NDB is headquartered in Shanghai, China.

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