Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 13 Jan 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

13 Jan 2022-Thrusday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Grime-eating Bacteria for History

Why in News:

  • Scientists have begun to widely use grime-eating microbes to repair historical paintings.

About:

  • Historically, art restorers have used chemical agents and, more recently, laser techniques to clean monuments, stone works, and paintings of dirt, oil, glue, and pollutants.
  • However, it was not until the 1980s when the bacterium Desulfovibrio Vulgaris was employed to clean a marble tombstone in the US’s Cave Hill Cemetery.
  • Since then, the importance of microorganisms in preserving humanity’s cultural history has been recognised.
  • Bio-cleaning is a term that refers to the practice of restoring classical art with the use of microbes.
  • Living bacteria were suspended in a gel and applied to the vertical walls for 24 and 48 hours,
  • When the gel was removed, the bacteria digested the inorganic dark brown layer and other deposits.
  • The therapy was gentle and sensitive, causing no structural harm.
  • Additional microorganisms were used arePseudomonas stutzeri CONC11 bacteria recovered from tannery waste, and Rhodococcus sp. ZCONT bacteria obtained from diesel-contaminated soil.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India is investigating the possibility of biorestoration at the Taj Mahal.

Red Sanders

Why in News:

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List has reclassified Red Sanders as ‘endangered.’

About Red Sanders:

  • Red Sanders or Sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus) is a rare tree species found only in India’s Eastern Ghats.
  • It is found only in a small area of forest in Andhra Pradesh.
  • This photosynthesis-dependent plant thrives in rocky, degraded, and fallow soils with Red Soil and a hot, dry environment.
  • Red Sanders are valued for their vibrant colour and medicinal benefits.
  • They are in great demand across Asia, notably in China and Japan, for usage in cosmetics and pharmaceutical items, as well as in the manufacture of furniture, woodcraft, and musical instruments.
  • Red Sanders was listed as ‘near threatened’ in 2018 and was reclassified as ‘endangered’ in 2021.
  • According to the IUCN’s Red List summary, although the species has preserved its geographical range despite harvesting since the 16th century, its population has declined by 50% to 80%.
  • It has a Threat of Excessive exploitation.

Red List of the IUCN

  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive worldwide inventory of plant and animal species’ conservation status.
  • It assesses the extinction risk of thousands of species using a set of quantitative criteria.
  • These criteria apply to the majority of species and to every place on Earth.
  • The statuses vary from ‘least concern’ for common species to ‘extinct’ for species that have entirely vanished from the globe.
  • Threatened species include those classified as ‘critically endangered,’ ‘endangered,’ or ‘vulnerable.’

Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) by DRDO

Why in News:

  • The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight tested the Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile in its final delivery version (MPATGM).

About MPATGM:

  • MPATGM is an indigenously created anti-tank missile.
  • This lightweight, fire-and-forget missile is designed for the Indian Army’s infantry and parachute (Special Forces).
  • It may be fired using an Ejection Motor and a man-portable launcher.
  • The missile has a miniature infrared imaging seeker for homing in on and killing the chosen target.
  • The missile has a maximum range of 2.5 kilometers.
  • Additionally, it is equipped with modern avionics for onboard control and navigation.

The Gateway to Hell

Why in News:

  • Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has directed authorities to devise a technique for permanently closing the country’s ‘Gateway to Hell.’

About:

  • The Gateway to Hell in Turkmenistan, also known as The Darvaza Crater, is 225 feet wide and 99 feet deep. It is 70 metres in diameter and covers an area of 5.5 square metres.
  • It is a natural gas field in Turkmenistan that has collapsed into a cavern.
  • It is the blazing flames that have been consuming a big natural gas crater for five decades.

Creation of Gateway to Hell?

  • It is thought that this crater was formed in 1971 as a result of a simple error by Soviet scientists.
  • Soviet scientists grossly underestimated the quantity of fuel under the surface. Their digging machine bore into a cavern under the earth’s surface. As a result, a large sinkhole was produced.
  • Scientists were afraid that the crater will spew poisonous fumes after the gas driller’s fall into the pit. Methane gas, a very toxic gas, has already begun to escape into the atmosphere.
  • Thus, to prevent the methane from reaching neighbouring places and causing chaos on the environment and living beings, scientists decided to set fire to the crater.

The National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) Year-end Evaluation

Why in News:

  • According to the annual year-end evaluation published by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Since July 2021, four new supercomputers have been deployed as part of the National Supercomputer Mission (NSM) at IIT-Hyderabad, NABI-Mohali, CDAC-Bengaluru, and IIT Kanpur.
  • NSM delivers high-performance computing (HPC) resources to over 75 universities and thousands of active researchers and academics through the Nation Knowledge Network (NKN).

What is the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)?

  • It is jointly executed and managed by the Departments of Science and Technology (DST) and Electronics and Information Technology (EIT) (DeitY).
  • The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru collaborated on this project.

The focus of NSM:

  • The Mission envisions enabling the country’s academic and research institutions by establishing a huge supercomputing grid comprised of approximately 70 high-performance computing centers.
  • Additionally, these supercomputers will be networked through the National Knowledge Network (NKN)to the National Supercomputing grid. The NKN is another government initiative that links academic institutions and research laboratories over a high-speed network.
  • The Mission comprises the creation of highly-skilled, HPC-aware people resources capable of overcoming the hurdles inherent in the development of these applications.
    Achievements of NSM:
  • ·         The first indigenously built supercomputer, dubbed Param Shivay, was placed at IIT (BHU).

    ·         At IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune, similar systems called Param Shakti and Param Brahma were built. They are able to handle applications in fields like weather and climate, computational fluid dynamics, bioinformatics, and materials science.

Academic Credit Bank

Why in News:

  • The government has included the IITs, IIMs, and other Institutions of National Importance (INIs) into the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) structure, which permits students to complete up to 50% of a course at a different institution than the one in which they are enrolled.
  • The Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) is one of the initiatives included in the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.

How did the Academic Bank of Credit (ABC) form?

  • The University Grants Commission established this bank.
  • Students will have several access and departure points under the ABC.
  • This permits students to withdraw from a degree or course and get a relevant certification, then re-enter the program at a later date and resume studies from where they left off.
  • Additionally, it will allow students to transfer across institutions while pursuing a single degree or withdraw from a course.

How does ABC function?

  • ABC will maintain track of a student’s academic credits.
  • It will not take credit course documentation directly from students for any course they may be pursuing, but only from higher education institutions, who will be responsible for depositing funds into students’ accounts.

Benefits of Academic Bank of Credit:

  • ABC will assist students with credit verification, credit accumulation, credit transfer and redemption, and student promotion.

Solid Waste Biomining

Why in News:

  • Zonta Infratech, the entity tasked with overseeing the biomining of legacy garbage at the Brahmapuram waste management plant, has set up an office at the facility.

About:

  • The bio-mining/landfill mining technique treats waste using microorganisms or natural factors such as air, sunshine, and so on.
  • Bio-mining is the process of extracting recyclables and other revenue-generating fractions from waste materials that have previously been disposed of via landfill.
  • The bioremediation method aids in the biomining of waste sites.
  • Bioremediation is the process of degrading organic waste via the action of microbes that is facilitated by the addition of biological inoculum to the dumpsite.
  • However, bioremediation is only feasible in the case of dumpsites with high organic content.
  • Bioremediation of legacy trash is not always effective in old / aged landfills when the garbage has already crossed the microbial degradation threshold.

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