UPSC Necessities: Key phrases of the previous week with MCQs

Important key phrases from the final week’s information headlines or between the strains categorised as per the relevance within the UPSC-CSE syllabus. Clear up the MCQs beneath. Additionally, submit Learn Q&A will enable you to to self-evaluate your retention reminiscence after studying the article.

CRISPR

Why in information?

— Within the 10 years because it was developed, the genome-editing expertise referred to as CRISPR has begun to ship on the close to limitless potential that scientists say it has to enhance the standard of human life.

— The expertise permits a easy however remarkably environment friendly technique to ‘edit’ the genetic codes of dwelling organisms, thus opening up the potential of ‘correcting’ genetic data to treatment illnesses, stop bodily deformities, or to even produce beauty enhancements.

— During the last three years particularly, a number of therapeutic interventions utilizing CRISPR for illnesses like thalassaemia or sickle cell anaemia have gone into medical trials, primarily in america, and the preliminary outcomes have been flawless.

— Final 12 months, the Indian authorities accepted a five-year mission to develop this expertise to treatment sickle cell anaemia that primarily afflicts the tribal populations of the nation.

— A whole lot of analysis teams and corporations all over the world are working to develop a spread of particular options utilizing CRISPR. The builders of the expertise, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2020, one of many quickest recognitions accorded by the Nobel committee following after a breakthrough.

Key takeaways

— CRISPR is brief for Clustered Repeatedly Interspaced Brief Palindromic Repeats, which is a reference to the clustered and repetitive sequences of DNA present in micro organism, whose pure mechanism to battle some viral illnesses is replicated on this gene-editing device.

— Modifying, or modification, of gene sequences to remove — or introduce — particular properties in an organism just isn’t a brand new improvement. It has been taking place for a number of a long time now, notably within the subject of agriculture, the place genetically modified variants, with particular fascinating traits, are often developed. It often includes the introduction of a brand new gene, or suppression of an present gene, by way of a course of described as genetic engineering.

— CRISPR expertise is completely different. It’s easy, and nonetheless way more correct — and it doesn’t contain the introduction of any new gene from the skin. Its mechanism is usually in comparison with the ‘cut-copy-paste’, or ‘find-replace’ functionalities in widespread pc programmes. A foul stretch within the DNA sequence, which is the reason for illness or dysfunction, is situated, minimize, and eliminated — after which changed with a ‘appropriate’ sequence. And the instruments used to realize this aren’t mechanical, however biochemical — particular protein and RNA molecules.

— The expertise replicates a pure defence mechanism in some micro organism that makes use of an identical technique to guard itself from virus assaults.

— The primary process is to determine the actual sequence of genes that’s the reason for the difficulty. As soon as that’s performed, an RNA molecule is programmed to find this sequence on the DNA strand, identical to the ‘discover’ or ‘search’ operate on a pc. After this, a particular protein referred to as Cas9, which is usually described as ‘genetic scissors’, is used to interrupt the DNA strand at particular factors, and take away the unhealthy sequence.

— A DNA strand, when damaged, has a pure tendency to re-attach and heal itself. But when the auto-repair mechanism is allowed to proceed, the unhealthy sequence can regrow. So, scientists intervene through the auto-repair course of by supplying the right sequence of genetic codes, which attaches to the damaged DNA strand. It’s like slicing out the broken a part of a protracted zipper, and changing it with a usually functioning half.

— Your entire course of is programmable, and has exceptional effectivity, although possibilities of error aren’t completely dominated out.

The moral dilemma

— Due t CRISPR’s energy to induce dramatic adjustments in a person, scientists, together with the principle developer Doudna, have been warning of the potential for misuse of the expertise.

—oIn 2018, a Chinese language researcher disclosed that he had altered the genes of a human embryo to forestall the an infection of HIV. This was the primary documented case of making a ‘designer child’, and it triggered widespread concern within the scientific group.

—  Preventive interventions to acquire particular traits just isn’t one thing that scientists at present need the expertise for use for. Additionally, as a result of the adjustments have been made within the embryo itself, the brand new acquired traits have been prone to be handed to future generations. Although the expertise is pretty correct, it isn’t 100 per cent exact, and will induce a couple of errors as effectively, making adjustments in different genes. This has the potential of being inherited by successive generations.

— In case of therapeutic interventions, the adjustments in genetic sequences stay with the person and aren’t handed on to the offspring.

Factors to ponder: What are the guarantees the CRISPR expertise gives and what are its challenges?

1. MCQ:

What’s Cas9 protein that’s typically talked about in information? ( UPSC- CSE 2019)

(a) A molecular scissors utilized in focused gene modifying
(b) A biosensor used within the correct detection of pathogens in sufferers
(c) A gene that makes vegetation pest-resistant
(d) A herbicidal substance synthesized in genetically modified crops

 

Hindi

Why in information?

—The annual celebration of Hindi Diwas commemorates September 14, 1949, the day when the Constituent Meeting of India took the choice to make Hindi the official language of the Union authorities, whereas English was to carry the standing of affiliate language for 15 years.

—It was a compromise, famously referred to as the Munshi-Ayyangar system, named after the drafting committee members Ok M Munshi and N Gopalaswamy Ayyangar, that took under consideration the calls for of the Hindi protagonists and the delegates from South India who wished English to have a Constitutional standing.

Key takeaways

—The controversy over the predominance of Hindi was hardly new. From the mid- 1800s onwards, it was in battle with Urdu in these components of the subcontinent that we at the moment name the ‘Hindi belt’.

—Hindu-Urdu debate

Historian Sumit Sarkar in his celebrated guide, ‘Fashionable India: 188-1947’ (1989) famous how “Urdu had been the language of well mannered tradition over a giant a part of North India, for Hindus fairly as a lot for Muslims.” He elaborated by noting that within the interval between 1881-90 twice as many Urdu books had been revealed within the United Provinces as Hindi. The identical was true for newspapers as effectively. There existed 16,256 Urdu newspapers in circulation compared to 8002 ones in Hindi.

Issues started to alter with the English East India Firm (EIC) making inroads within the Indian subcontinent. Within the mid-1800s when the EIC began consolidating its place in India, giant components of the nation have been underneath the Mughal rule with Persian because the official courtroom language. By the 1830s, the EIC changed Persian with English on the greater ranges of administration and the native vernaculars can be in utilization within the decrease ranges. Given the present recognition of Urdu among the many native inhabitants of North India, it got here to take pleasure in a newfound predominance in decrease ranges of presidency service.

The socio-political adjustments in North India within the mid-Nineteenth century have been accompanied by a speedy enlargement of the federal government training system with its bifurcation of the 2 vernaculars, Hindi and Urdu. Whereas each the languages weren’t unique to any explicit group, surveys of the interval famous how these belonging to Brahmin, Rajput and Baniya castes have been extra prone to go to Hindi faculties, whereas the Persian and Urdu faculties have been extra common among the many Muslims and Kayasthas. Consequently, the latter communities discovered it simpler to be employed in authorities providers.

The need to discover a place within the administration prompted many proponents of Hindi to spell out its deserves, together with the truth that it was the language of the unique inhabitants of the subcontinent, and that it was subdued in the middle of the Mughal rule. These like Bhartendu Harishchandra, who is named the daddy of Hindi Literature, and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, who established the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Parishad, have been key figures within the motion to popularise Hindi. Organisations such because the Nagari Pracharini Sabha Banaras, Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in Allahabad and Rashtra Bhasha Prachar Samiti cropped up in giant components of North India with the particular goal of furthering the case for Hindi.

Lastly in 1900, the federal government of the North West Provinces and Oudh gave equal standing to the Devanagari and Urdu script, a lot to the frustration of the Muslims within the area who got here to imagine that their language was on the threat of being extinct.

Many argue that the seeds of the Hindu-Muslim battle that culminated within the Partition of the subcontinent, lay within the Hindi-Urdu debate of the Nineteenth century. The linguistic dichotomy gained additional forex when Pakistan opted for Urdu as its official language and India selected Hindi.

Submit- Independence debate over Hindi

The selection to make Hindi the official language of an unbiased India was rooted within the necessity of discovering a unifying power in a rustic with various languages, scripts and dialects.

Since Hindi was the spoken language of enormous components of North India, it was seen as a secure possibility for the nationwide linguistic unification of the nation. Nevertheless, giant components of the non-Hindi talking areas of the nation have been sad with the thought.

Between September 12 and 14, 1949, that the Constituent Meeting of India debated the standing of India’s languages. Among the many points that have been mentioned have been the usage of the time period ‘nationwide language’, as a substitute of ‘official’ language; Hindi vs languages akin to Bengali, Telugu, Sanskrit, or Hindustani; Devanagari script vs the Roman script; the language for use within the greater judiciary and Parliament; worldwide numerals vs these in Devanagari script.

Hindi writer Seth Govind Das, who represented the Central Provinces and Berar, argued for ‘one language and one script’ and recommended that Hindi ought to change English on the earliest. Naziruddin Ahmad representing West Bengal alternatively argued that “English ought to proceed because the official language for all functions for which it was getting used, until a time when an ‘All India language’ is advanced, which might be able to expressing the ideas and concepts on varied topics, scientific, mathematical, literary, historic, philosophical, political…”

T A Ramalingam Chettiar representing Coimbatore within the Meeting famous that the language challenge “in all probability means life and loss of life for the South”. He identified that Hindi was simply as international to the South as English was. “Except steps are taken to make the individuals within the South really feel that they’ve one thing to do with the nation, …I don’t assume the South goes to be glad in any respect. …To what it might lead, it isn’t straightforward to say at current,” he stated.

Then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru identified that whereas English had performed a variety of good to the nation, no nation can succeed on the premise of a international language. He recalled Gandhi’s assist for Hindustani, which he believed represented the composite tradition of India. Nevertheless, he additionally cautioned in opposition to the imposition of Hindi in opposition to the desires of enormous components of India. This, Nehru stated, was “not solely an incorrect method, however …a harmful method” — “You simply can not power any language down the individuals or group who resist that.”

Lastly a compromise was reached whereby English together with Hindi was made the official language of India for a interval of 15 years. On the completion of the interval, Hindi would change English as the one language for use for official functions.

Additional, Article 351 of the Structure requested for the promotion and improvement of the Hindi language in a method that it may function a method of expression in all issues.

What else it’s best to know?

—When the 15 12 months interval got here to an finish protests broke out over the worry of imposition of Hindi in giant components of non-Hindi talking India, notably in Tamil Nadu. Riots broke out in Madurai in January 1965 and shortly unfold to Madras. The resistance resulted within the Centre passing the Official Languages Act, which acknowledged that English would proceed to be upheld as official language together with Hindi.

—Within the years that adopted, the federal government has made a number of efforts to propagate Hindi because the unifying language of India, the celebration of Hindi Diwas being one amongst them.

—The 2011 linguistic census accounts for 121 mom tongues, together with 22 languages listed within the eighth Schedule of the Structure.

—Hindi is essentially the most extensively spoken, with 52.8 crore people, or 43.6% of the inhabitants, declaring it as their mom tongue. The following highest is Bengali, mom tongue for 9.7 crores (8%) — lower than one-fifth of Hindi’s depend.

—By way of the quantity of people that know Hindi, the depend crosses greater than half the nation. Practically 13.9 crore (over 11%) reported Hindi as their second language, which makes it both the mom tongue or second language for almost 55% of the inhabitants.

—Hindi has been India’s predominant mom tongue over the a long time, its share within the inhabitants rising in each succeeding census.

—In 1971, 37% Indians had reported Hindi as their mom tongue, a share that has grown over the following 4 censuses to 38.7%, 39.2%, 41% and 43.6% eventually depend.

—Between 1971 and 2011, the variety of people who declared their mom tongue as Hindi multiplied 2.6 instances, from 20.2 crore to 52.8 crore. The numbers greater than doubled for Punjabi, Maithili, Bengali, Gujarati, and Kannada, and virtually doubled for Marathi.

—English, alongside Hindi, is likely one of the two official languages of the central authorities, however it isn’t among the many 22 languages within the eighth Schedule. It is likely one of the 99 non-scheduled languages. By way of mom tongue, India had simply 2.6 lakh English audio system in 2011.

—As a second language, 8.3 crore spoke it in 2011, second solely to Hindi’s 13.9 crore.

Article 343 in The Structure Of India 1949

Official language of the Union

(1) The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script The type of numerals for use for the official functions of the Union shall be the worldwide type of Indian numerals

(2) However something in clause ( 1 ), for a interval of fifteen years from the graduation of this Structure, the English language shall proceed for use for all of the official functions of the Union for which it was getting used instantly earlier than such graduation: Supplied that the president could, through the stated interval, by order authorise the usage of the Hindi language along with the English language and of the Devanagari type of numerals along with the worldwide type of Indian numerals for any of the official functions of the Union

(3) However something on this article, Parliament could by regulation present for the use, after the stated interval of fifteen years, of

(a) the English language, or

(b) the Devanagari type of numerals, for such functions as could also be specified within the regulation

Level to ponder: When residents of states who converse different languages talk with one another, it must be within the language of India. Do you agree?

2. MCQ:

Contemplate the next statements and reply the questions beneath

1. Draft Article 301A or Munshi-Ayyangar Proposal,1949  amongst different issues, declared Hindi within the Devanagari script because the official language of the Union.

2. Article 343 of the Structure requested for the promotion and improvement of the Hindi language in a method that it may function a method of expression in all issues

Which of the next statements is/are true?

a) Just one

b) Solely 2

c) Each 1 and a couple of

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Etherium Merge

Why in information?

—Ethereum, the world’s second most precious cryptocurrency, has accomplished a big software program overhaul which guarantees to ramp up safety of the cryptocurrency whereas claiming to chop down on its carbon footprint, almost completely.

—The revamp, referred to as ‘The Merge,’ will solid apart the necessity for crypto miners and gigantic mining farms, who had beforehand pushed the blockchain underneath a mechanism referred to as ‘proof-of-work’ (PoW). As a substitute, it has now shifted to a ‘proof-of-stake’ (PoS) mechanism that assigns ‘validators’ randomly to approve transactions and earn a small reward.

—The transfer to PoS will scale back ethereum’s power consumption by almost 99.95 per cent, in line with the Ethereum Basis, a non-profit organisation devoted to supporting the cryptocurrency and its associated applied sciences.

Key takeaways

—Ethereum is a decentralised cryptocurrency, which means that it doesn’t have establishments like banks approving the transactions that occur on its community – the approvals have been earlier taking place underneath the PoW consensus mechanism which was primarily performed by miners. Miners would compete to resolve complicated mathematical puzzles utilizing a large infrastructure of leading edge pc {hardware}, and the primary one to resolve the puzzle can be chosen because the validator. This technique was virtually completely depending on crypto farms, that are large warehouses lined with rows of computer systems which might remedy the puzzles.

—There was, nonetheless, one massive downside – these mining farms have been power guzzlers, resulting in one of many greatest criticisms of the crypto trade that they often consumed extra electrical energy than total international locations, and have been due to this fact a giant concern when it comes to environmental sustainability.

—Enter ‘The Merge’ and the shift to the PoS consensus mechanism. Ethereum continues to be a decentralised platform, however underneath the brand new idea, it might not want miners and mining farms to authenticate transactions anymore. As a substitute, a validator might be randomly assigned utilizing an algorithm from a pool of people that ‘stake’ their cash, which primarily means pledging a minimum of 32 Ethereum tokens on the community. This is able to completely remove the necessity for miners on the Ethereum community.

—The ‘Merge’ comes amid rising regulatory scrutiny over cryptocurrencies which have taken a extreme beating of their worth because the starting of this 12 months. One of many greatest advantages being touted about ‘The Merge’ is that it’s going to make transactions on the Ethereum community extraordinarily safe.

—Justin Drake, considered one of Ethereum’s key researchers main the migration, defined it in Time Journal as: “The Merge dramatically will increase the safety of Ethereum. An attacker wants 51% of the blockchain’s worth to [take control]. With Proof of Work, you want on the order of $5 billion, which lets you purchase sufficient computer systems and transformers, join all of them to the grid, after which perform an assault. With Proof of Stake, we could have about $20 billion in financial safety at the moment – and this can be a quantity I anticipate will develop dramatically.”

—Aside from that, additionally it is being seen as an environmentally acutely aware transfer as Ethereum is anticipated to now eat 99 per cent or so much less power.

—On condition that a few of the hottest purposes of cryptocurrencies akin to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralised finance (DeFi) are primarily based on the Ethereum community, the overhaul may have far-reaching penalties sooner or later.

—On the Ethereum Neighborhood Convention in July, Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin had stated that submit ‘The Merge’, the community will endure additional upgrades which he referred to as the “surge,” “verge,” “purge,” and “splurge”.

Surge: This refers back to the addition of Ethereum sharding, which guarantees to course of transactions on the community a lot sooner than now. Sharding mainly means dividing transactions throughout a number of completely different chains in a method that may lower charges and pace up transactions. “By the tip, ethereum will be capable to course of 100,000 transactions per second,” Buterin had stated on the convention.

Verge: The verge will implement what Buterin referred to as “Verkle timber” and “stateless shoppers,” which can permit customers on the community to grow to be validators with out having to retailer in depth quantities of knowledge on their machines.

Purge: Because the identify suggests, this step will contain purging outdated community historical past. “The purge: making an attempt to truly minimize down the quantity of area you need to have in your arduous drive, making an attempt to simplify the Ethereum protocol over time and never requiring nodes to retailer historical past,” Buterin stated.

Splurge: Buterin referred to as this section “the enjoyable stuff.” It goals at ensuring that the community continues to run easily and that the updates to the protocol within the earlier sections don’t trigger any points.

Level to ponder: How do digital currencies work?

3. MCQ:

Which of the next sentences is wrong?

a) Ethereum is a decentralised cryptocurrency, which means that it doesn’t have establishments like banks approving the transactions that occur on its community .

b) Surge refers back to the addition of Ethereum sharding, which guarantees to course of transactions on the community a lot sooner than now.

c) ‘The Etherium Merge,’ will solid apart the necessity for crypto miners and gigantic mining farms, who had beforehand pushed the blockchain underneath a mechanism referred to as ‘proof-of-stake’ (PoS).

d) One of many greatest advantages being touted about ‘The Etherium Merge’ is that it’s going to make transactions on the Ethereum community extraordinarily safe.

NLEM

Why in information?

—The Union Well being Ministry just lately launched the new Nationwide Listing of Important Drugs (NLEM)-2022, revising it after a seven-year interval.

—The brand new record, issued on September 13, has included extra most cancers medicines, newer diabetes medicine, and even 4 medicine which can be underneath patent.

Key takeaways

—Curated by consultants in session with stakeholders, the record contains medicines which can be wanted to handle the precedence healthcare wants of the vast majority of the inhabitants. The medicine included are these which can be finest for the therapy of a specific situation and are cost-effective on the similar time. That is the rationale the record virtually at all times sees the inclusion of generics (unbranded medicines, like paracetamol as a substitute of crocin).

—The record often contains medicines which can be part of authorities’s well being programmes, akin to bedaquiline, included within the 2022, that’s used within the nation’s TB elimination programme.

—Framed on the ideas of the World Well being Organisation’s important medication record, India’s first record was developed in 1996. It has since been modified 4 time – in 2003, 2011, 2015, and now in 2022.

—The revisions are performed conserving in thoughts the altering profile of illnesses within the nation, newer medicine changing into out there out there, medicine changing into out of date or being banned for sure dangers, and newer therapy protocols.

—The record creates a framework for procurement of medicines at authorities healthcare amenities – the important medicines ought to ideally be out there in any respect healthcare centres relying on the extent of care (NLEM marks all medicine as P, S, or T relying on whether or not they must be out there at main, secondary or tertiary healthcare amenities). It additionally helps hospitals create their drug insurance policies akin to which medicines for use – the NLEM-2022 switched up a number of antibiotics relying on the resistance sample, together with a powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotic Meropenem within the record.

—How does the NLEM make the medicines inexpensive?

The federal government has the facility to manage the costs of sure medicines, these wanted in public curiosity, by way of the Drug Costs Management Order. The Nationwide Listing of Important Medicines varieties the first foundation for contemplating a drug as important and controlling its costs. Moreover, the costs of medication apart from these included within the NLEM may additionally be managed by way of the DPCO.

As soon as a drug is included within the NLEM, its costs are managed by the central authorities and can’t be modified by corporations themselves.

“Primarily based on this record, the NPPA will resolve the ceiling costs. The costs of medicines underneath the NLEM can’t be elevated by the businesses themselves, however yearly the costs are elevated or decreased as per the Wholesale Value Index, which means the costs of those medicines can’t be elevated unreasonably,” Union Well being Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya stated through the occasion to launch the record.

—What are the numerous additions to the NLEM-2022?

The brand new record has added 34 medicines that weren’t within the NLEM-2015, most importantly it has added 4 most cancers medicines — Bendamustine Hydrochloride — that used for treating sure varieties of blood and lymph node cancers, Irinotecan HCI Trihydrate used for treating colorectal and pancreatic cancers, Lenalidomide for treating varied kind of cancers, and Leuprolide acetate for treating prostate most cancers. Most cancers therapies are often very pricey, but in addition have greater commerce margins.

The record has additionally included newer class of medication that are actually routinely used for diabetes administration by medical doctors – the medication Teneligliptin and the insulin Glargine. The rotavirus vaccine which is now part of the federal government’s common immunisation programme has additionally been included.

Importantly, the record has additionally included a minimum of 4 medicine which can be nonetheless underneath patent — akin to Bedaquiline and Delaminid for TB, Dolutegravir for HIV, and Daclatasvir for the therapy of Hepatitis C – all of that are a part of authorities’s nationwide well being programmes. That is the primary time that patented medicine have been included within the record as these medicine often price extra.

“A query is raised repeatedly whether or not patented medicine must be included within the NLEM. So, the committee, in addition to the stakeholders and the ministry, took the choice that patented medicine may also be part of NLEM in the event that they fulfil the factors (of want, security, efficacy, and value effectiveness). And, these medicines are essential and must be an element,” stated Dr YK Gupta, who heads the Standing Nationwide Committee on Medicines that was arrange in 2018 to change the record.

The record has made one other notable addition – it has included nicotine and opioid alternative remedy, with no remedy within the class out there within the earlier lists.

Level to ponder: Which medicine have been faraway from the NLEM-2022?

4. MCQ:

Which of the next statements with respect to NLEM is appropriate?

a) The Nationwide Listing of Important Medicines varieties the first foundation for contemplating a drug as important and controlling its costs.

b) As soon as a drug is included within the NLEM, its costs are managed by the central authorities and can’t be modified by corporations themselves.

c) Petroleum jelly and bleaching powder have additionally been faraway from the record NELM-2022.

d) All the above

Solutions to the MCQs: 1 (a), 2(a), 3(c), 4(d)

Submit Learn Q & A

Are you able to recall what you learn?

1. How has the Hindu-Urdu debate advanced over time?

2. What’s the moral dilemma over CRISPR expertise?

3. What are the main medicine included in NLEM -2022?

 



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