UPSC Prelims News of 15 December 2022
Context: Researchers have developed and demonstrated a robot, named forabot, capable of sorting, manipulating and identifying microscopic marine fossils.
- Foraminifera, also called forams, are simple protists (neither plant nor animal) that have existed in our oceans for more than 100 million years.
- These organisms secrete a tiny shell. When forams die, they leave behind their shells.
- Studying these shells give scientists insights into the characteristics of the oceans from a time when the forams were alive.
- Working: The robot’s AI uses images of the sample to identify the type of foram and sorts it accordingly.
- Capability: Forabot has an accuracy of 79% for identifying forams, which is better than most trained humans.
- It can identify six different type of foram fossil and can process 27 fossils per hour.
- Significance: Physical inspection and sorting of the marine fossils require intense human efforts. The robot can automate the process.
Context: French-Canadian singer Celine Dion has revealed that she has been diagnosed with Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS).
About the Condition:
- SPS, also known as Moersch-Woltman syndrome, is a rare neurological condition that makes the muscles spasm uncontrollably. It normally affects torso region, the arms and the legs.
- The condition affects one in a million and affects the central nervous system of the body.
- Cause: It is an autoimmune disease caused by antibodies to proteins, resulting in impaired GABAergic (Gamma amino butyric acid) inhibition of the motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
- Effects: The condition affects the posture of a person due to severe pain and stiffness in muscles in the trunk (torso), arms and legs.
- Over a period of time a person may develop abnormal and often hunched-over postures and could also cause disability in walking and movement.
- Symptoms: Symptoms include greater sensitivity to noise, touch, and emotional distress. It is commonly associated with symptoms such as anxiety, phobias and depression.
- Treatment: Treatment involves the use of both symptomatic agents to improve GABAergic influences and Immuno modulating treatment aimed at the autoimmune nature of the disease.
India Internet Governance Forum 2022
Context: The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has conducted a three-day hybrid event in New Delhi.
About the India Internet Governance Forum 2022:
- It is an initiative associated with the UN Internet Governance Forum (UN-IGF).
- Theme for 2022: ‘Leveraging Techade for Empowering Bharat’.
- The event’s goal is to discuss the roadmap to digitization and to reaffirm India’s place on the global stage by emphasizing its role and importance in international policy development on internet governance.
What is the UN Internet Governance Forum (UN-IGF)?
- The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multistakeholder governance group for policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance.
- The establishment of the IGF was formally announced by the United Nations Secretary-General in July 2006.
- It was first convened in October–November 2006 and has held an annual meeting since then.
Stats IQ: India and the internet
- India is the largest ‘connected’ nation in the world with 800 million internet users.
- 5G and the largest rural broadband connectivity network project at BharatNet will have 1.2 billion Indian users constituting the single largest presence of the global internet.
- India will have 1 billion smartphone users by 2026 with rural areas driving the sale of internet-enabled phones, according to a study by Deloitte.
Sixth Schedule of Constitution
Context: Union Home Ministry evades direct reply on Ladakh’s inclusion under Sixth Schedule of Constitution.
- In September 2019, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes recommended the inclusion of Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule.
- It noted that the new UT was predominantly tribal (more than 97%), people from other parts of the country had been restricted from purchasing or acquiring land there, and its distinct cultural heritage needed preservation.
- In 2021, Ladakh’s MP demanded constitutional safeguards by amending the Ladakh Autonomous Hill District Council (LAHDC) Act.
- Reason for Non-Inclusion: Main objective for inclusion of tribal population under fifth/sixth schedule is to ensure their overall socio-economic development, which, the UT Administration has already been taking care of since its creation.
- Sufficient funds are being provided to Ladakh to meet its overall developmental requirements.
- Ladakh administration has increased the reservation for Scheduled Tribes in direct recruitment from 10% to 45%, which would help the tribal population significantly in its development.
About Sixth Schedule:
- According to Article 244 of the Constitution, the Sixth Schedule was enacted in 1949 in order to protect indigenous groups through the establishment of autonomous administrative divisions known as Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).
- It protects tribal populations, providing autonomy to communities through the creation of Autonomous Development Councils, which can frame laws on land, public health and agriculture.
- As of now, ten autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.