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Current Affairs 10th May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Current Affairs 10th May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

T Cells

Context:   Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have uncovered a T cell characteristic that might lead to novel anti-tumour therapies.

T Cells (T lymphocytes)

  • Lymphocyte:  A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. There are two main types of lymphocytes: T cells and B cells.
  • T Cells: T cells are a type of white blood cell that protect against infection and help fight cancer. T-cells start in the bone marrow, mature in the thymus and eventually relocate to lymph tissue or bloodstream.
  • B Cells: A type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. B cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow.
    • While B-cells produce antibodies to fight infection, T-cells protect people from getting infected by destroying cancerous and infected cells. T cells destroy the body’s own cells that have themselves been taken over by viruses or become cancerous.
  • Types of T- Cells:   There are two main types of T-cells:
    • Cytotoxic T-cells: Cytotoxic T-cells are also called CD8+ cells because they have a CD8 receptor on their membranes. Cytotoxic T-cells kill cells infected with viruses and bacteria, and they also destroy tumor cells.
    • Helper T-cells: Helper T-cells are also called CD4+ cells because they have a CD4 receptor on their membranes. Unlike cytotoxic T-cells, helper T-cells don’t kill cells directly. Instead, they send signals that tell other cells in your immune system how to coordinate an attack against invaders. Helper T-cells signal cytotoxic T-cells, B-cells and another type of white blood cell called a macrophage.
  • Working of T Cells in Immune System: In the lymph organs, T cells are trained by antigen-presenting cells which present an antigen (a piece of tumor or pathogen) to T cells, stimulating an immune response.
    • A key part of this process is the binding of B7, a protein on the surface of antigen-presenting cells, with CD28, a receptor on T cells.
    • This B7:CD28 interaction is a major driver of the T cell immune response.
    • Once trained, T cells leave the lymph organs and travel through the body to find and attack their targets.
    • Some studies indicate that T cells can produce their own B7 or take the B7 protein from the antigen-presenting cells and bring it along with them.
T Cells
T Cells

Current Affairs 9th May 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam


Rabindranath Tagore

Context:  The Prime Minister of India recently paid tribute to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on his 162nd birth anniversary.

About Rabindranath Tagore

  • Birth: He was born to mother Sarada Devi and father Debendranath Tagore on 7th May 1861 in Jorasanko Thakurbai in Kolkata.
  • Life: Rabindranath Tagore was a polymath.
    • He was primarily known as a writer, poet, playwright, philosopher and aesthetician, music composer and choreographer and a painter.
    •  Tagore’s emergence as a painter began in 1928 when he was 67 years old.
    • He was popularly known as Bard of Bengal and people used to call him Gurudev.
    • He was guided by the Upanishadic doctrine of Satyam, Sivamand  Advaitam (truth, of goodness and unity).
    • He was also a cultural reformer who modified Bengali art by rebuffing the strictures that confined it within the sphere of classical Indian forms.
    • Tagore completely belonged to the world of his time particularly in the realm of art. Expressionism in European art and the primitive art of ancient cultures inspired him.
    • Here was a man, who actively participated in the Swadeshi movement of 1905 and composed several patriotic songs, yet withdrew from the movement, being shocked when it broke into communal violence.
    • He started the Rakhi Utsav where people from Hindu and Muslim communities tied colorful threads on each other’s wrists.
    • At a time when India was struggling to find the right language of freedom movement, Tagore advocated the idea of global integrity and that the man himself is a gateway to the world.
    • In his lecture, entitled “Swadeshi Samaj“, he explained how the British control of India is the “political symptom of our social disease” of self-subjugation. He urged Indians to believe that “there can be no question of blind revolution, but of steady and purposeful education”.
    • Rabindranath Tagore died on August 7, 1941.
  • Contributions:  He wrote around 2230 songs and painted 3000 paintings.
    • He created his first collection of poems at the age of 16 using the pseudonym “Bhanusimha”.
    • Viswa Bharti University in Shantiniketan was founded by Tagore.
    • The national anthem of India, “Jana Gana Mana” was composed by Tagore. He also penned the national anthem for Bangladesh.
    • He is also remembered for his song ‘Ekla Chalo Re’.
    • Some of his other notable works include Gitanjali, Post Master, Kabuliwallah, Nastanirh, Raktakorabi, Swadeshi Samaj etc.
    • Tagore owns the title Viswa Kavi or poet of the world because of his universal ideology.
  • Awards: In the year 1913, he was the first Non-European who received the noble prize for poetry collection named ‘Gitanjali’.
    • He was awarded “Knighthood” by British King George V in 1915 for his literary accomplishments.
      • Following the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919, Tagore resigned his knighthood.

Quotes by him:

  1. The problem is not how to wipe out all differences, but how to unite with all differences intact.”
  2. “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”
  3. “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
  4. “If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.


Katepurna Wildlife Sanctuary

Context: The Nature Experience Initiative (Animal Census) was recently carried out at Katepurna Wildlife Sanctuary.

Katepurna Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Location: It is located in Akola District of Maharashtra.
    • The sanctuary derives its name from the Katepurna River, which flows through the Sanctuary.
    • This Sanctuary area is a catchment of Katepurna reservoir, and it forms aquatic habitat for many floral and faunal species.
  • Vegetation: Southern tropical dry deciduous forest.
  • Flora: The main species are Ain, Dhawada, Kalamb, Salai, Haldu, Medshing, Tendu etc.
    • Trees of Vad, Umber, Arjun, Kalamb are found in the moist areas.
  • Fauna: The sanctuary is quite famous for two of its inhabitants: the Four Horned Antelope and the Barking Deer.
    • Other wild creatures include Leopard, Wolf, Hyenas, Peafowl, Black Buck, Wild Boar, Nilgai, Hare, Monkey, Jungle Cat, etc.


Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Context: Recently, Prime Minister paid tributes to freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhale on his birth anniversary.

About Gopal Krishna Gokhale

  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale was born in a Brahmin family during the British Raj. Despite being from a relatively poor household, he received an English education which wasn’t easy to cope up to in those days.
  • Mahatma Gandhi in his autobiography, referred to Gokhale as his mentor and guide. Being one of the first generations of Indians to receive a college education, he was widely respected in the intellectual community.
  • Gokhale was one of the founders of the Servants of India Society (1905), whose members took vows of poverty and lifelong service to the underprivileged.
  • He opposed the ill-treatment of untouchables, or low-caste Hindus, and also took up the cause of impoverished Indians living in South Africa.
  • Gokhale was among the most prominent faces in the Indian National Congress and a strong advocate for gaining independence from British rule via constitutional means.
  • He became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1889. He was also the secretary of the Indian National Congress’s “Reception Committee” during its Poona session in 1895.
  • Gokhale was reportedly one of the first Indians to complete graduation. In 1884, after his graduation in arts at the Elphinstone College, Bombay, Gokhale moved to Pune to take up a teaching job at a school.
  • He died on February 19, 1915.
Gopal Krishna Gokhale
Gopal Krishna Gokhale


Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)

Context: Recently, Finance Minister chaired the 27th Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) meeting in New Delhi.

About Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)

  • It is an apex-level forum constituted by the Government of India in December 2010.
  • Objective: Strengthening and institutionalizing the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhancing inter-regulatory coordination and promoting financial sector development.
  • Composition: FSDC is the apex body of sectoral regulators, headed by the Union finance minister.
    • Its members include the heads of financial sector Regulators (RBI, SEBI, PFRDA, IRDA & FMC) Finance Secretary and/or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, and Chief Economic Adviser.
    • The Council can invite experts to its meeting if required.
  • Functions: It monitors macro-prudential supervision of the economy, including the functioning of large financial conglomerates.
    • It addresses inter-regulatory coordination and financial sector development issues.
    • It also focuses on financial literacy and financial inclusion.
  • Sub-committee of FSDC: A sub-committee of FSDC has also been set up under the chairmanship of Governor RBI.
    • It discusses and decides on a range of issues relating to financial sector development and stability, including substantive issues relating to inter-regulatory coordination.
Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)
Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)


Electronic Cigarettes

Context: Recently, Information & Broadcasting Ministry warned the print media, TV channels, OTT (over-the-top) platforms and digital media against directly or indirectly promoting electronic cigarettes.

  • Such an act was in violation of Section 4 of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Act, 2019, which prohibits advertisements that directly or indirectly promote the use of electronic cigarettes.

About Electronic Cigarettes:

  • An electronic cigarette is a battery-operated device that emits a vaporized solution to inhale.
    • Usually, the solution contains nicotine.
  • The aim is to provide the sensation of inhaling tobacco smoke, without the smoke.

Working of Electronic Cigarettes

  • The mouthpiece: This is a cartridge fixed to the end of a tube. Inside is a small plastic cup containing absorbent material soaked in a liquid solution.
  • The atomizer: This heats the liquid, causing it to vaporize so that a person can inhale it.
  • The battery: This powers the heating element.
  • The sensor: This activates the heater when the user sucks on the device.
  • The solution: E-liquid, or e-juice, contains a combination of nicotine, a base, which is usually propylene glycol, and flavoring.
  • When the user sucks on the mouthpiece, the heating element vaporizes the solution, which the person then “vapes,” or inhales.
    • The nicotine content of the liquid can range from “very high” to zero.
Working of Electronic Cigarettes
Working of Electronic Cigarettes

Harmful effects of Electronic Cigarettes

  • In 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General had concluded that “e-cigarette use among youths and young adults is a public health concern; exposure to nicotine during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing adolescent brain.”
  • Study of 2018:  It found the use of e-cigarette daily was associated with a 79% increase in heart attack risk after other variables were considered.
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR):  According to a white paper on e-cigarettes, depending on the battery output voltage used, nicotine solvents can release in varying amounts potential carcinogens such as acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and acetone.
  • The liquid-vaporizing solutions also contain “toxic chemicals and metals that can cause several adverse health effects including cancers and diseases of the heart, lungs and brain”.
  • Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused fires and explosions, some of which have resulted in serious injuries.


IED (Improvised Explosive Device)

Context: Recently, an IED (improvised explosive device) killed 10 security personnel of the District Reserve Guard in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada area.

About IED (Improvised Explosive Device)

  • It is basically a “homemade” bomb and/or destructive device, used by criminals, vandals, terrorists, suicide bombers, and insurgents to intimidate, inflict casualties, destroy property, and destabilize the existing setup or regime in the country.
  • It is a device,
    • which is placed or fabricated in an improvised manner.
    • It incorporates destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic or incendiary chemicals.
    • It is designed to destroy, incapacitate, harass or distract.

Any IED has five basic components

  • A switch (Trigger or activator): A trigger or Activator is basically a switch or some other direct or indirect means of setting the device off, such as a radio signal, trip wire, cell phone, timer or firing button that someone presses.
  • Power source (battery): Power supply is often provided by car batteries or alkaline flashlight batteries.
  • An initiator (fuse or detonator): A detonator is a small explosive charge that sets off the main charge. Detonators are usually electrical, like those used for explosions in construction (blasting caps).
  • Charge (explosive): A main charge is the primary explosive body which is mainly responsible for creating the blast wave.
  • A container (body to hold everything together): A container is used to hold everything together. The container may be designed to force the blast in a specific direction.

Materials Used as Explosives in IEDs

  • Many commonly available materials, such as fertilizer, gunpowder, and hydrogen peroxide, can be used as explosive materials in IEDs.
Materials Used as Explosives in IEDs
Materials Used as Explosives in IEDs

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