06 October, 2020

  • Virus researchers get Nobel Prize for medicine (Science & technology)
  • Farm Acts unwanted constitutional adventurism + An unconstitutional harvest - (Polity & Governance)
  • DRDO successfully tests ASW missile system - (Science & technology)
  • CM announces anti-pollution campaign ahead of winter: PUSA Decomposer Capsules– (Environment & Biodiversity )
  • Ecosystem services provided by Delhi zoo valued at 426 cr.- (Environment & Biodiversity)
  • Question for the day

Prelims Quiz


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    UPSC Current Affairs:Virus researchers get Nobel for medicine | Pg 01

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Science & Technology |Mains: GS Paper III – Science & Technology

    Sub Theme: Virus Research | Noble Prize | UPSC      

    Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world but other infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.

    There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These 5 types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

    Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids. Common modes of transmission for these viruses include receipt of contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment and for hepatitis B transmission from mother to baby at birth, from family member to child, and also by sexual contact. 

    Acute infection may occur with limited or no symptoms, or may include symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. 

    What are the different hepatitis viruses?

    Scientists have identified 5 unique hepatitis viruses, identified by the letters A, B, C, D, and E. While all cause liver disease, they vary in important ways.

    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is present in the faeces of infected persons and is most often transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. Certain sex practices can also spread HAV. Infections are in many cases mild, with most people making a full recovery and remaining immune from further HAV infections. However, HAV infections can also be severe and life threatening. Most people in areas of the world with poor sanitation have been infected with this virus. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HAV.

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted through exposure to infective blood, semen, and other body fluids. HBV can be transmitted from infected mothers to infants at the time of birth or from family member to infant in early childhood. Transmission may also occur through transfusions of HBV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use. HBV also poses a risk to healthcare workers who sustain accidental needle stick injuries while caring for infected-HBV patients. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HBV.

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is mostly transmitted through exposure to infective blood. This may happen through transfusions of HCV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use. Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common. There is no vaccine for HCV.

    Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections occur only in those who are infected with HBV. The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in a more serious disease and worse outcome. Hepatitis B vaccines provide protection from HDV infection.

    Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is mostly transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. HEV is a common cause of hepatitis outbreaks in developing parts of the world and is increasingly recognized as an important cause of disease in developed countries. Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed but are not widely available. 


    UPSC Current Affairs: Farm Acts – Unwanted constitutional adventurism + An unconstitutional harvest |Pg 06

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains: GS Paper-II– Polity & Governance

    Sub Theme: MSP | Corporatisation of agriculture | UPSC   


    Entry 33 in Concurrent List Against Spirit of Article 369: 

    What is Article 369?:  Temporary power to Parliament to make laws with respect to certain matters in the State List as if they were matters in the Concurrent List. Parliament could laws for a period of 5 years to regulate Trade and Commerce within states. 

    Why was it provided?: Many States deficit in Food production; Enabled Centre to ensure food security in poorer States.

    Criticism against Entry 33 in Concurrent List:

    • Added through the 3rd Constitutional Amendment.
    • Temporary provision to make Laws for a period of 5 years has been turned into Permanent Provision
    • Invoking Entry 33 to pass Farm Bills is Adventurism, erodes autonomy of States and Weaken Federal Structure.
    1. Does not stand Legal Scrutiny

    Supreme Court Judgement in ITC Limited Vs APMC, 2002: 

    (a) Market Fee can be charged under the State APMC Act.

    (b) State law could become repugnant only if the Centre and State enact laws on the same subject matter under Concurrent list.

    (c) For the subjects outside List III, one has to look at exclusive entry to determine the domain of legislative competence.

    Note: In case of Farm bills, points (a) and (c) would be applicable. Agriculture is exclusively a state subject and hence agriculture marketing falls under the purview of States.

    Against Entry 28 in the State List :

    Entry 28 in State List deals with Markets and Fairs within the States. This is not subject to provisions of Entry 33 in concurrent list.

    Hence, State Legislature empowered to make laws, policies and regulations related to Agricultural Markets without over-riding provisions of Entry 33 in List III.


    UPSC Current Affairs: DRDO successfully tests ASW missile system |Page 10

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Defence related technology | Mains: GS III – Science & Technology

    Sub theme: ASW | SMART | UPSC     

    Context - The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the missile-assisted release of a lightweight anti-submarine torpedo System for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), Supersonic Missile Assisted Release of Torpedo (SMART)

    Torpedo is an underwater ranged weapon launched above or below the water surface, self-propelled towards a target, and with an explosive warhead designed to detonate either on contact with or in proximity to the target.

    • SMART is a missile assisted release of lightweight anti-submarine torpedo system for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations far beyond the torpedo range. This launch and demonstration is significant in establishing anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
    • “All the mission objectives including missile flight up to the range and altitude, release of torpedo and deployment of velocity reduction mechanism have been met perfectly.
    • The flight testing of SMART follows the successful test firing on Saturday of its indigenously developed nuclear capable hypersonic missile ‘Shaurya’ with a strike range of around 1,000 km from the test range.
    • The test was conducted from APJ Abdul Kalam Island (earlier known as Wheeler Island), off the Odisha coast.
    • It covers most of its flight in the air at lower altitudes with two-way data link from the warship or an airborne submarine target detection system and provides the exact location of the hostile submarine to correct its flight path midway
    • Just when it approaches close enough to the submerged submarine, the missile will eject the torpedo system into the water and the autonomous torpedo will start moving towards its target to take out the submarine


    UPSC Current Affairs: CM announces anti-pollution campaign ahead of winter | Pg 02

    UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: Environment & Ecology | Mains: GS III – Environment & Ecology

    Sub theme: Winter Pollution in Delhi | UPSC  

    What is it?: Degrade paddy straws in the field and convert them into compost in a rapid manner.

    How does it work:

    • Decomposer Capsules contain 7 different strains of Fungi; Fungi produces essential enzymes that lead to degradation of Paddy straws.
    • Need to be mixed with water, 150 gms of jaggery and 50 gms of Besan; Total 25 litres for 1 hectare
    • Allowed to ferment and later sprayed on the paddy straws
    • Convert the paddy straws into organic manure 


    • Reduces the air pollution which arises due to stubble burning
    • Cheaper alternative- Only 4 Capsules worth Rs 5 each needed for 1 hectare of agricultural land.
    • Eco-friendly and Environmentally sustainable technique
    • Enhances fertility and productivity of Soil.


    UPSC Current Affairs: Ecosystem services provided by Delhi zoo valued at ₹426 cr.| Pg 04

    UPSC Syllabus: Mains: GS III – Environment & Ecology

    Sub theme: Ecosystem Services | UPSC  

    • The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) had requested The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to conduct a study titled ‘Economic valuation of ecosystem services of National Zoological Park, New Delhi’ to understand the annual value of key ecosystem services.
    • In a first of its kind of study by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), the total annual economic value of ecosystem services provided by the Delhi zoo for 2019-20 was estimated to be over Rs 55,500 crore 

    Types of Ecosystem Services

    The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), a major UN-sponsored effort has identified four major categories of ecosystem services:

    Provisioning Services: Food, drinking water, timber, wood fuel, natural gas, oils, plants, medicines 

    Regulating Services: Moderate the natural phenomena; pollination, decomposition, water purification, erosion and flood control, and carbon storage and climate regulation.

    Cultural Services: Non-material benefit that contributes to the development and cultural advancement of people, the building of knowledge and the spreading of ideas; creativity born from interactions with nature (music, art, architecture); and recreation.

    Supporting Services: Underlying natural processes, such as photosynthesis, nutrient cycling, the creation of soils, and the water cycle. These processes allow the Earth to sustain basic life forms. 


    Md Ayaz Ahmed 4 months ago

    nobel prize cannot be awarded to more than 3 persons 

    Md Ayaz Ahmed 4 months ago

    yes 2 people have declined the nobel prize 

    Anushka Dasgupta 4 months ago

    Nobel Prize cannot be awarded to more than 3 people but they can be awarded to an entire organisation. Then should that be considered more than three people?

    Nirbhay 4 months ago

    Jean Paul Sartre declined the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964 and Le Duc Tho declined the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1973. Thus, in the history of Nobel Prizes, two awardees have declined to accept. The Prize cannot be awarded to more than 3 individuals.