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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 28 December 2022

 

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2022

Q) Recently seen in news, the term ‘Naegleria fowleri’ is best related to which one of the following?

  1. A brain-eating species of amoeba.
  2. A migratory bird found in peninsular India.
  3. An herb with anti-fungal properties, found in the Himalayas.
  4. A new species of lichen discovered in the Western Ghats.

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 27 December 2022

Explanation:

  • Option (1) is correct: Recently, South Korea reported its first casualty of an infection caused byNaegleria fowleri or “brain-eating amoeba”. Naegleria is an amoeba and only one of its species, called Naegleria fowleri, can infect humans. The microorganism was first discovered in Australia in 1965 and is usually found in warm freshwater bodies, such as hot springs, rivers and lakes. The amoeba enters the human body through the nose and then travels up to the brain. This happens when someone dips their head in a freshwater body. In some cases, people get infected when they clean their nostrils with contaminated water. There is no evidence of spreading of Naegleria fowleri through water vapour or aerosol droplets. After entering human brain, the microbe destroys brain tissues and causes a dangerous infection known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The first sign of PAM is visible within one to 12 days after the infection. It is similar to symptoms of meningitis, which are headache, nausea and fever. Later effects include stiff neck, seizures, hallucinations, and even coma. The infection spreads rapidly and on average causes death within about five days. The fatality of the infection is as such that only four people have survived out of 154 reported infected individuals in the US. No effective treatments have been identified as yet. At present, doctors treat it with a combination of drugs, including amphotericin B, azithromycin, fluconazole, rifampin, miltefosine, and dexamethasone.

Q) With reference to ‘cold wave’, consider the following statements:

  1. It is declared, when a station on the plains has a minimum temperature of less than 10 degrees Celsius.
  2. It results from the presence of dry, cold winds under the western disturbances.
  3. The presence of ‘La Nina’ is linked to the prevalence of the cold wave.

Which of the statements given above 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: Indian Meteorological Department provides criteria for declaring cold wave, that is, when minimum temperature of a station is less than or equals to 10° C for plains and less than or equals to 0°C for hilly regions. Based on departure from normal, cold wave is declared when the minimum temperature departure from normal is -4.5°C to -6.4°C and severe cold wave is when minimum temperature departure from normal > -6.5°C, For Coastal stations when minimum temperature departure is <-4.5°C or actual minimum temperature is less than or equals to 15°
  • Statement 2 is correct: During the winter months, the passage of western disturbances causes “dry, cold north-westerly winds” to blow into north and central India, causing minimum temperatures to plummet over these areas, resulting in cold-wave conditions. According to studies, a western disturbance occurs when moisture-laden winds replace chilly and dry northwesterly winds with warm and wet easterly breezes.
  • Statement 3 is correct: La Nina effect is lowering temperatures. This phenomenon originates in the eastern Pacific, is linked to the Indian subcontinent’s cooler winters. La Nina is the cooling phase of the phenomena known as El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and causes stronger winds above the Pacific Ocean, causing warmer ocean water to be pushed west toward Indonesia than usual, resulting in more cold water coming to the surface near South America. La Nina can cause an increase in moisture over the Indian subcontinent, resulting in an abundance of snowfall and rainfall.

Q) Consider the following statements about the ‘De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes ‘(DNTs):

  1. Renke and Idate commission are associated with identification of DNTs.
  2. The ‘SEED’ scheme was launched by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to facilitate livelihood initiatives for DNTs.

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: Renke commission and Idate commission were constituted for the identification of DNTs. Idate Commission had categorised 1,262 communities under SC/ST/OBC lists and 267 communities were left uncategorised. A National Commission for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) was constituted in 2006 by the government. It was headed by Balkrishna Sidram Renke and submitted its report in June 2008. The Renke commission estimated their population at around 10.74 crore based on Census 2001.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The SEED (Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs) scheme was launched by Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. An amount of Rs 200 crore has been allocated for this scheme, to be spent over five years from FY2021-22 to FY2025-26. It has four components:
  • To provide coaching of good quality for DNT candidates to enable them to appear in competitive examinations.
  • To provide Health Insurance to them.
  • To facilitate livelihood initiative at community level; and
  • To provide financial assistance for construction of houses for members of these communities.

Q) With reference to ‘Veer Bal Diwas’, consider the following statements:

  1. It is associated with the martyrdom of the sons of the ninth guru of the Sikhs.
  2. Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh were bricked alive by the Mughal governor Wazir Khan.

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 incorrect: Veer Bal Diwas mark the martyrdom of sons of tenth sikh guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh – Sahibzadas Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Baba Fateh Singh Ji. Guru Gobind Singh also founded the principles of Khalsa or the Five ‘K’s which include are kesh (uncut hair), kanga (wooden comb), kara (iron or steel bracelet), kirpan (dagger) and kachera (short breeches). He fought against the Mughals in the battle of Muktsar in 1705. His literary contributions include the Jaap Sahib, Benti Chaupai, Amrit Savaiye, etc.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Sahibzada Zorawar Singh aged 9 and Sahibzada Fateh Singh aged 7 are among the most revered martyrs in Sikhism. In 1704, Mughal soldiers besieged Anandpur Sahib on the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb. The two sons of Guru Gobind Singh were captured. They were offered safe passage if they became Muslims. They both refused to accept Islam and so they were sentenced to death and were bricked alive by the Mughal governor of Sirhind named Wazir Khan.

Q) Consider the following statements about Ratnagiri Geoglyphs:

  1. It is located in the Saurashtra region of western India.
  2. Aquatic animals such as sharks and stingrays are depicted in the geoglyphs.
  3. It provides evidence of the existence of human settlements from the Paleolithic to the early historic era.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct?

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

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Ratnagiri’s Prehistoric Geoglyphs is clusters of geoglyphs are found across the Konkan coastline in Maharashtra and Goa. They were created on Porous laterite rock, which is found on a large scale across the entire region. Ratnagiri district has more than 1,500 pieces of such art, known as “Katal shilpa,” spread across 70 sites. UNESCO’s tentative world heritage list mentions seven famous sites— Ukshi, Jambharun, Kasheli, Rundhe Tali, Devihsol, Barsu and Devache Gothane. Other sites include Kudopi village in Sindhudurg district and nine sites at Phansamal in Goa.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Imagery from Ratnagiri’s Prehistoric Geoglyphs shows how people adapted to ephemeral wetlands in a dry-arid plateau having shallow rock pools, streams and watercourses. The figures depicted in the geoglyphs include humans and animals such as deer, elephant, tiger, monkey, wild boar, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, cattle, pig, rabbit, and monkey. High number of reptilian and amphibian creatures such as tortoises and alligators, aquatic animals such as sharks and sting rays, and birds like peacocks can be found in the geoglyphs. Some clusters have one or two standalone figures of larger-than-life scale, while others show multiple figures gathered together, for a purpose or ritual.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: Ratnagiri’s rock art is evidence of the continued existence of human settlements in the region from the Mesolithic (middle Stone Age) to the early historic era. The geoglyphs also show the existence of certain types of fauna that no longer exist in the region today. They are examples of advanced artistic skills, showing the evolution of techniques of etching and scooping in rock art.

 

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