UPSC Prelims News of 2 January 2023
Vibrant Villages Programme
Context: Union Home Minister has asked border-guarding forces to use the Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) to populate border villages.
More on the News:
- The minister said that boots on the ground and fencing were necessary but borders can be truly secured if villages are populated with people who are concerned for the country.
- The VVP was announced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her Union Budget speech.
- The VVP was cover border villages on Northern border having sparse population, limited connectivity and infrastructure.
- Under VVP, existing schemes will be converged to ensure that border villages are always populated.
- Residential and tourist centres will be constructed.
- Improvement in road connectivity and development of decentralized renewable energy sources.
- Direct access of Doordarshan and education related channels will be provided. Support will be provided for livelihood of the villagers.
- Need for such scheme:
- The VVP aims to counter China’s model villages, which are being developed along LAC.
- It will halt the out-migration which has been continuously occurring at the villages on the Indian side.
Context: A MoU for production of Goat Pox vaccine and “Lumpi-ProVac” vaccine has been signed.
- Lumpi-ProVacind is a homologous live-attenuated vaccine for the Lumpy Skin Disease and has been
- Working: Lumpi-ProVacind is safe in animals and induces LSDV-specific antibody-and cell-mediated immune response, besides providing complete protection against lethal LSDV challenge.
- Strain: A dose of the vaccine contains live-attenuated LSDV (Ranchi strain). The vaccine is stored at 4°C.
- Challenges: The vaccine has to be shipped on ice and must be used within a few hours after reconstitution.
Lumpy Skin Disease:
- Cause: The disease is caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), which belongs to the genus capripoxvirus.
- Symptoms: Reduced appetite, depression, excessive salivation, swelling of lymph nodes and fever etc.
- Spread: The virus is shed by animals through oral and nasal secretions which may contaminate common feeding and water areas.
- The disease can spread either through direct contact with the vectors or through contaminated fodder and water.
- It can also spread through artificial insemination.
- Impact: Reduced milk production, inability to work, affects pregnancy and also insemination process.
- Human spread: It is a zoonotic disease and does not spread to humans.
Context: Researchers at IIT, Madras, Tel Aviv University and Columbia University are studying a rare genetic brain disease called “GNB1 Encephalopathy” and trying to develop a drug to treat it effectively.
About GNB1 Encephalopathy
- GNB1 Encephalopathy is a kind of brain disease or neurological disorder which affects individuals in the foetus stage.
- Causes: Mutations in GNB1 gene cause the neurological disorder (GNB1 Encephalopathy).
- A single nucleotide mutation in the GNB1 gene that makes one of the G-proteins, the “Gβ1 protein,” causes this disease.
- Symptoms: Mental delay, epileptiform activity in the electroencephalogram (EEG) and seizures of several types, intellectual disabilities, muscle hypotonia or hypertonia, and additional variable symptoms.
- Impact: To date, less than a hundred cases have been documented worldwide.
- However, the actual number of affected children is probably much greater as diagnosis is not widely available since it requires a sophisticated and expensive procedure.
Tidal Disruption Event
Context: Telescopes operated by NASA recently observed a massive black hole devouring a star, formally called a tidal disruption event (TDE).
More on the News
- The event is formally called AT2021ehb, and took place in a galaxy with a central black hole about 10 million times the mass of our sun.
- NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescopic Array (NuSTAR) was used to observe the event.
About Tidal Disruption Event (TDE):
- TDEs are astronomical phenomena that occur when a star passes close enough to a supermassive black hole and is pulled apart by the black hole’s tidal forces, causing the process of disruption.
- A tidal force is the difference in the strength of gravity between two points.
- If the tidal force exerted on a body is greater than the intermolecular force that keeps it together, the body will get disrupted.
- During a TDE, the tidal force of a black hole disrupts the star in vicinity.
- While about half of the star’s debris continues on its original path, the other half is attracted by the black hole’s gravitational pull.
- The gradual growth of this material bound to the black hole produces a short-lived flare of emission, known as a tidal disruption event.
- TDEs are potentially important probes of strong gravity and accretion physics.
- TDEs provide answers about the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes.
About Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescopic Array (NuSTAR)
- It is NASA’s most sensitive space telescope capable of observing high-energy X-rays.
- NuSTAR was successfully launched on 13 June 2012 and is the eleventh mission of NASA’s Small Explorer (SMEX-11) satellite program.
- It is the first space-based direct-imaging X-ray telescope at energies beyond those of the Chandra X-ray Observatory and XMM-Newton.
- Objectives of the mission:
- To conduct a deep survey for black holes a billion times more massive than the Sun,
- To investigate how particles are accelerated to very high energy in active galaxies, and
- To understand how the elements are created in the explosions of massive stars by imaging supernova remnants.