In the absence of vitamin D, recent research studied the biochemical basis of muscle dysfunction in mice.
The glucose ingested from meals is typically converted to glycogen and stored in the skeletal muscle.
Muscles utilise this stored energy reserve to generate energy once the food ingested is digested.
Without vitamin D, skeletal muscles continued to produce glycogen but were unable to convert it to glucose (a usable form of energy).
When glycogen stores do not provide energy, especially in the post-absorb stage, skeletal muscle absorbs more glucose from the blood. This results in widespread energy scarcity.
When there is a systemic energy deficit, muscle protein breakdown is initiated, resulting in muscular wasting.
This demonstrates that a shortage of vitamin D starves the skeletal muscles, resulting in muscular wastage.
Vitamin D’s Functions
Vitamin D functions primarily as a hormone and is involved in a wide variety of metabolic activities.
It is critical for the maintenance of metabolic processes, the immune system, and bone health, as well as for depression, mood swings, anxiety, and sleep quality.
As part of the regular metabolic process, proteins generated in our bodies decay and are eventually replaced by new proteins.
When protein breakdown surpasses protein synthesis, skeletal muscle atrophy or simply a loss of muscle mass often happens. This is what occurs in the presence of a Vitamin D deficit.
Solar Waste Report
Why in News:
According to research made by India’s National Solar Energy Federation, the country might create more than 34,600 tonnes of solar waste cumulatively by 2030.
Solar garbage is electronic waste formed when solar panels are discarded.
It is scrapped in India. It has the potential to more than double in the next decade.
The manufacturing of solar panels often necessitates the use of many hazardous substances.
Solar panels have a useful life of around 20 to 30 years.
Thousands of solar panels have reached the end of their useful life since they were introduced in the 2000s.
Because it is difficult to properly dispose of the dangerous metals included inside solar cells, it is often more cost-effective to dump them in landfills or export them to underdeveloped nations.
As solar panels lay in landfills, their harmful metals may leach into the environment, posing a potential public health danger if they contaminate groundwater.
Module technologies in India
With 93 and 7% market shares, respectively, crystallised silicon (C-Si) and thin-film (mostly cadmium telluride) are the two most prevalent module technologies in India.
Both methods have an 85-90 percent recovery rate.
However, the significant cost difference between recycling and disposing of panels in landfills is one of the reasons it is not recycled sufficiently.
The problem of solar waste was not addressed in the 2016 legislation governing electronic waste disposal.
As a result, India’s attention should be on developing comprehensive standards for dealing with solar waste.
Prohibition of solar panel trash landfills.
Development of new business models, incentives, or the issuance of green certifications to entice the recycling sector to engage more fully.
Design innovations may have an effect on the sort of waste generated; technological developments will be critical in lowering the impact of renewable energy waste.
Kathak and Pandit Birju Maharaj:
Birju Maharaj, the renowned Kathak dancer who brought the ancient Indian dance genre ‘Kathak’ to the international stage, passed away recently.
He was one of India’s most renowned and beloved performers. He was a member of the Lucknow-based Kalka-Bindadin gharana, a traditional Kathak dance style. He was born in Lucknow on February 4, 1938.
In 1983, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Kalidas Samman.
Kathak is the only classical dance style that is inextricably linked to Hindustani or North Indian music. Both have grown in lockstep, one feeding and nourishing the other. (Odissi dance is accompanied by Odissi music, a fusion of Hindustani and Carnatic).
Kathak is a major type of ancient Indian classical dance that is typically attributed to the travelling bards of North India known as Kathakars or storytellers.
Prime Minister GatiShakti— National Master Plan:
Why in News:
The widespread lack of coordination and cooperation across agencies has been a significant obstacle to India’s timely completion of infrastructure projects.
Frequently, these projects have run late, resulting in considerable cost increases.
A summary of the country’s pending projects:
According to the Government of India’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), by the beginning of 2021, 1,687 Union Government projects worth more than Rs 21.45 lakh crore had incurred a cost overrun of about 20%, owing mostly to their delays.
Delays can be attributed to a miscalculation of the project’s original cost, spiralling land acquisition costs, delays in obtaining environmental, forest, and wildlife clearances and industrial licencing permission, road crossings of pipelines/transmission lines, utility relocation, delays in securing project financing, and delays in finalising detailed engineering.
About Gati Shakti:
It is a digital platform that unites 16 ministries — Roads and Highways, Railways, Shipping, Petroleum and Gas, Power, Telecom, Shipping, and Aviation — and was launched in 2020.
Its objective is to guarantee that infrastructure projects are planned and executed holistically.
Its objective is to increase multimodal connectivity and reduce logistical costs.
Under PM Gati Shakti, several Ministries of the Union and State Governments would fund infrastructure projects worth more than Rs 500 crore, including Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, and UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik — subsidies for easing air travel).
The site will include 200 layers of geospatial data, including information on current infrastructures like roads, highways, trains, and toll plazas, as well as geographic information about forests, rivers, and district borders, to assist in planning and securing clearances.
Additionally, the site will enable different government agencies to monitor the development of various projects, particularly those having cross-sector and cross-regional implications, in real-time and in a centralised location.
The goal is to guarantee that “each and every department now has insight into the actions of the others, giving crucial data for planning and implementation of initiatives.”
As a result of cross-sectoral contacts, several departments would be able to prioritise their tasks”.
Additionally, it will improve last-mile connection while lowering logistical costs via integrated planning and minimising implementation overlap.
National e-commerce policy
Why in News?
The government is now drafting an updated and perhaps softer Draft National E-commerce Policy.
At least two draft E-commerce policies have been drafted before. However, they were unable to become policy due to opposition from key government agencies.
What will the next Draft National E-commerce Policy’s objective be?
The objective is to regulate India’s e-commerce business in order to increase marketplace accountability and level the playing field for conventional offline merchants.
The regulation will apply to all digital and electronic platforms that facilitate the purchase and sale of products and services, including television shopping channels, websites, and social media platforms.
What are the primary provisions of the soon-to-be-released Draft National E-commerce Policy?
To begin, e-commerce enterprises would be required to hire officials to guarantee compliance with domestic laws and to handle any complaints fairly and expeditiously.
Second, no marketplace may exercise any control over the things that are offered on its platform. Additionally, such businesses are prohibited from selling their goods directly or indirectly to merchants registered on their platform. Additionally, they cannot compel a seller to sell only via their platform.
Disinfection Technology Using UV-C
Why in News?
According to the union minister, UV-C disinfection equipment is being placed in railway coaches, air-conditioned buses, and enclosed places to prevent pandemics.
What is ultraviolet-C (UV-C) disinfection technology?
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) created UV-C Disinfection Technology.
The technique is intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19 through airborne transmission.
UV-C radiation with a wavelength of 254 nm deactivates viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other bioaerosols.
The disinfection system may be utilised in auditoriums, big conference rooms, schools, and shopping malls, among other locations, to provide a somewhat safe atmosphere for indoor activities during the present epidemic. Additionally, it may be employed in structures and transportation vehicles.
Additionally, this technology may be utilised by the Election Commission of India for indoor gatherings with restricted capacity in advance of Assembly elections in five states, after a temporary ban on physical rallies and roadshows.