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UPSC Prelims News 10 November 2022

 

UPSC Prelims News of 10 November 2022

Lab Grown Blood

Context: Clinical trial of lab grown blood in humans has been conducted for the first time in UK.

About:

  • The trial aims to study the lifespan of lab-grown cells compared with standard red blood cells infused in the body.
  • The studies do not aim to replace regular human blood donations but will only help in developing technology that will allow scientists to manufacture very rare blood types.
  • These blood types are not only difficult to source but are vital for people who depend on regular blood transfusions for conditions such as sickle cell anemia.

Working of Technology:

  • The focus of the study is on red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
  • Initially, donated blood was taken and magnetic beads were used to identify flexible stem cells that are capable of becoming red blood cells.
  • Those stem cells were then placed in a nutrient solution in a laboratory. The solution allows those cells to multiply and develop into more mature cells.
  • The cells were purified using a standard filter before being stored and later transfused into the patients.
  • Significance: The lab grown cells are freshly created and can last longer. Patients will require fewer transfusions.
  • Challenges: The cost of lab grown blood transfusion is on the higher side.

 

Mission Prarambh

Context:  Skyroot Aerospace will launch India’s first private space vehicle in a mission named Prarambh, from Sriharikota.

More on the News:

  • The first privately developed launch vehicle is named as Vikram-S and will carry three customer payloads.
  • With the launch, Skyroot Aerospace is set to become India’s first private space company to launch a space vehicle into space.
  • Vikram-S launch vehicle:
    • The launch vehicle has been named in honour of the founder of the Indian space programme and renowned scientist Vikram Sarabhai.
    • The vehicle is a single-stage sub-orbital launch vehicle that can carry three customer payloads and help test and validate the majority of the technologies used in the Vikram series of space launch vehicles.
    • The launch vehicle will be powered by Kalam-100 rocket.
  • Vikram series launch vehicles:
    • Vikram-I: It can carry 480 kilograms of payload to Low Earth Orbit
    • Vikram-II: It is equipped to lift off with 595 kilograms of cargo
    • Vikram-III: It can launch with 815 kg to 500 km Low Inclination Orbit

 

India’s First Sovereign Green Bonds Framework

Context: Union Finance Minister has approved India’s First Sovereign Green Bonds Framework.

About Green Bond

  • Green bonds are financial instruments that generate funds for investment in environmentally sustainable and climate-suitable projects.
  • They command a relatively lower cost of capital compared to regular bonds.
  • They fund environmentally sustainable projects.

Highlights:

  • Indian government’s first ever green bonds will focus on funding solar power projects, followed by wind and small hydro projects.
  • The government aims to issue 160 billion rupees ($1.93 billion) of such bonds between October and March.
  • Green Finance Working Committee (GFWC) is constituted to validate key decisions on issuance of Sovereign Green Bonds.
    • It is headed by the Chief Economic Adviser V Anantha Nageswaran, to select public sector projects for green financing.
    • The panel will ensure proceeds from the bonds will be allocated within 24 months from the date of issuance.

Significance:

  • Framework will further strengthen India’s commitment towards its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) targets, adopted under the Paris Agreement, and help in attracting global and domestic investments in eligible green projects.
  • It will help in reducing carbon intensity of the economy.
  • The approval is the fulfillment of the announcement in the Union Budget FY 2022-23 that Sovereign Green Bonds will be issued for mobilising resources for green projects.

 

International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA)

Context: The International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) was launched during the ongoing COP27 to the UNFCCC in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

About the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA)

  • Launch: It was launched by a group of several countries and organizations led by Spain and Senegal.
    • The IDRA was first announced by Spain at the 77th session of the UNGA in September 2022 to be officially launched at the UNFCCC’s COP27.
  • Objectives:
    • The mission of the alliance is to give political impetus to make the land’s resilience to drought and climate change a reality by 2030
    • The alliance will help countries to be better prepared for future droughts.
    • The group also pledged to drive change in how the world tackles the growing drought risks: Moving from emergency response to building long-term resilience.
  • Significance:
    • The alliance is significant as there is no global convention for land, other than UNCCD, which mostly focuses on desertification.
    • The alliance is now being seen as a ‘specific solution’ for the United Nations to the impacts of climate change.

 

Stats IQ: Droughts Across the world

  • Droughts have increased in frequency by 29 per cent since 2000, with around 55 million people affected every year, according to the latest’ Drought in Numbers’ report compiled by the UNCCD.
  • The 2022 droughts in Europe, United States, Australia, Chile, the Horn and southern Africa, showed that no country or region is immune to their impacts.
  • Drought-Generated Economic Losses from 1998 to 2017 were about $124 billion across the world.

 

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