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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 1 December 2022

 

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2022

Q) Recently seen in news, the term ‘Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT)’ is best described by which one of the following:

  1. A tool to better monitor the soft landing of the rover on the lunar surface.
  2. A technology for bringing efficiency to hydrogen fuel cell-based vehicles.
  3. A new sensor technology for tracking cheetah movements at night
  4. A technology used in football to capture precise positional data of the ball in a three-dimensional space

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 30  November 2022

Explanation:

  • Option (4) is correct: FIFA is using Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) to disallow goals scored from an off-side position. The SAOT works on two components– a sensor inside the match ball (Adidas’s Al Rihla) that is held using suspension technology, and existing player tracking tools that are part of the VAR system. The small in-ball device provides a precise positional data and also detects ball movement in a three-dimensional space.  Every time the ball is touched, data is sent in real time to a network of antennae set up around the playing field. The 12 Hawk-Eye cameras set up around the turf track both the ball and the players. Both the data sets are run through artificial intelligence software which provides automated alerts to the match officials whenever a player is in offside position. The data transmission rate from the ball (500 frames per second or 500Hz) makes the process significantly accurate. A Precision Time Protocol clock is used to synchronise the data from the ball sensor and Hawk-Eye. The precision is up to one-millionth of a second.

Q) With reference to Fujiwhara Effect, consider the following statements:

  1. It occurs when two temperate cyclones meet to form a larger storm.
  2. The two cyclones must be of equal size for the effect to take place.
  3. It could cause a change in track as well as the intensity of the storms.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The Fujiwhara Effect is any interaction between tropical storms formed around the same time in the same ocean region with their centres or eyes at a distance of less than 1,400 km, with intensity that could vary between a depression (wind speed under 63 km per hour) and a super typhoon (wind speed over 209 km per hour).
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: There are five different ways in which Fujiwhara Effect can take place. In an Elastic Interaction (EI) only the direction of motion of the storms changes and is the most common case. In Partial straining out (PSO) a part of the smaller storm is lost to the atmosphere. In Complete straining out (CSO) the smaller storm is completely lost to the atmosphere and the straining out does not happen for storms of equal strength. In Partial Merger (PM) the smaller storm merges partially into the bigger one. Whereas during Complete Merger (CM) two storms of similar strength merge completely.
  • Statement 3 is correct: The interaction could lead to changes in the track and intensity of either or both storms systems. The effect makes cyclones more unpredictable due to their rapid intensification and change of track, which may lead to large-scale devastation. In rare cases, the two systems could merge, especially when they are of similar size and intensity, to form a bigger storm.

Q) Consider the following statements about coral reefs:

  1. Coral bleaching can occur when exposed to ultra-violet sun rays.
  2. Ocean acidification reduces coral calcification by increasing carbonate ions.
  3. The Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located off the coast of Australia.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Coral bleaching is whitening of coral, resulting from the loss of a coral’s symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) or the degradation of the algae’s photosynthetic pigment. Coral bleaching has a variety of causes. It may result from increases in seawater temperature, particularly when associated with elevated levels of solar irradiance (e.g., ultraviolet radiation), or it may be caused by changes in seawater chemistry (e.g., due to ocean acidification or pollution), increased levels of sediment in seawater, or a coral’s exposure to sodium cyanide (a chemical used in the capture of coral reef fish). Under such conditions the zooxanthellae may lose substantial amounts of their photosynthetic pigmentation, which decreases rates of photosynthesis and produces bleaching.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Ocean acidificationis making it more difficult for corals to build their hard exoskeletons. Ocean acidification also occurs because of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide alters the chemistry of seawater by reducing pH, a measure of acidity. Water that has a lower pH is more acidic. When the pH of seawater is lowered as a result of CO2, the availability of carbonate ions, one of the main building blocks in their calcium-carbonate skeletons, is reduced, and corals have a tougher time building up, or even maintaining, their skeleton.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Great Barrier Reef is on the north-eastern coast of Australia and has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List since 1981. It is the world’s biggest coral reef system. The Great Barrier Reef is undergoing its sixth major bleaching episode because of heat stress created by climate change. It was the first time on record the reef had suffered bleaching during a La Nina weather cycle, when cooler ocean temperatures would normally be expected.

Q) With reference to the Scheduled Tribes in India, consider the following statements:

  1. More than half of the population of the scheduled tribes are concentrated in the north-eastern states of India.
  2. There is no scheduled tribe notified in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
  3. Madhya Pradesh has the highest percentage of scheduled tribes, whereas Mizoram has the highest number of scheduled tribes.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The Scheduled Tribes are notified in 30 States/UTs and the number of individual ethnic groups, etc. notified as Scheduled Tribes is 705. The tribal population of the country, as per 2011 census, is 10.43 crore, constituting 8.6% of the total population. 89.97% of them live in rural areas and 10.03% in urban areas. Broadly the STs inhabit two distinct geographical areas – the Central India and the North- Eastern Area. More than half of the Scheduled Tribe population is concentrated in Central India, that is , Madhya Pradesh (14.69%), Chhattisgarh (7.5%), Jharkhand (8.29%), Andhra Pradesh (5.7%), Maharashtra (10.08%), Orissa (9.2%), Gujarat (8.55%) and Rajasthan (8.86%). The other distinct area is the North East (Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh).
  • Statement 2 is correct: More than two-third of the ST population is concentrated only in the seven States of the country, viz. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. There is no ST population in Puducherry as no Scheduled Tribe is notified.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: As per census 2011, Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of scheduled tribes, whereas Mizoram has the highest percentage of scheduled tribe population. On the other hand Goa has the lowest number of scheduled tribes, whereas Uttar Pradesh has the lowest percentage of scheduled tribe population.

Q) Consider the following statements regarding the covid-19 vaccine iNCOVACC:

  1. It is a non-invasive, needle-free vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech.
  2. It is made up of an adenovirus that contains a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: The intranasal covid-19 vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech, called iNCOVAC, has been approved. It is a Non-invasive, Needle-free vaccine, which is easy to administrer. The vaccine has been approved under Restricted Use in Emergency Situation for ages 18 and above, in India, for heterologous booster dose. Intranasal vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled instead of jabbing into the muscles (intramuscular) or the tissue.
  • Statement 2 is correct: iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilised SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The intranasal vaccine will trigger different set of immune cells that are located around mucosal tissues instead of traditional antibodies from blood (IgG). These antibodies, known as IgA, will attack the pathogen around the air pathway. The T cells in the vicinity will remember the pathogen the next time around. It will cut the cost associated with the use of needles and syringes. There will be no need of trained personnel for administering the vaccine.

UPSC Mains Result 2022

 

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