Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 9th November – 2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 09-11-2021

                                                                                                  

 

Topics

  • Adi Shankaracharya–A 12-foot statue
  • Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG)
  • Mass Extinction- the international journal Nature Geoscience
  • Ammonia Level in Yamuna
  • Kaho Village

                                                                                                                                                      

 

 1. Adi Shankaracharya–A 12-foot statue

GS1-Indian culture, Art Forms, Literature and Architecture.

Context:

  • At Kedarnath, where the acharya is supposed to have attained samadhi at the age of 32 in the ninth century, a 12-foot statue of Adi Shankaracharya has been revealed.

In depth information

Facts about Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s monument

  • According to the Tourism Department, a Mysore-based sculptor created the statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya out of chlorite schist, a rock that can survive rain, sunlight, and harsh weather.
  • Yogiraj Shilpi completed the statue’s work with the help of his son. The carving of the statue began in September 2020, with around 120 tonnes of stone procured.
  • To bring out the statue’s lustre, coconut water was used to polish it.
  • Adi Guru Shankaracharya’s statue is in a sitting position and weighs around 35 tonnes.
  • The statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya was sculpted in Mysuru, Karnataka, then flown to Kedarnath in a Chinook chopper.
  • According to sources, PM Narendra Modi chose one of the 18 statue models and given his approval.

Adi Shankaracharya’s biography:

  • Born in the village of Kaladi on the banks of the Periyar, Kerala’s greatest river,
  • He was the scholar’s student.
  • He was always on the move, waving the Advaita Vedanta flag and attacking established intellectual traditions such as Buddhism and Jainism.
  • He is credited with establishing the Badri and Kedardhams’ ritual procedures.
  • Adi Shankara is the author of 116 works, including the famed commentaries (bhashyas) on 10 Upanishads, the Brahmasutra, and the Gita, as well as lyrical compositions such as Vivekachudamani, ManeeshaPanchakam, and Saundaryalahiri.
  • He also wrote books like Shankarasmrithi, which aims to show Nambuthiri Brahmins’ social superiority.

What is Advaita Vedanta, and what does it entail?

  • Advaita Vedanta articulates a radical nondualism philosophical perspective, a revisionist worldview derived from ancient Upanishadic writings.
  • The Upanishads, according to AdvaitaVedantins, reveal a fundamental nonduality principle known as ‘brahman,’ which is the reality of all things.
  • Brahman, according to Advaitins, transcends individuality and empirical plurality.
  • They want to prove that brahman is the vital core of one’s self (atman). Advaita Vedanta’s central thesis is that the atman is pure non-intentional consciousness.
  • It is a singular, nondual, limitless existence that is numerically identical to brahman.

 

2. Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG)

#GS2 – Health

 Context

  • The frequency of the novel AY.4.2 variation of COVID-19 is less than 0.1 percent of all Variants of Interest (VOI)/ Variants of Concern (VOC), according to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), and is too low to be of concern at this time.

In depth information

  • According to the INSACOG, Delta (B.1.617.2 and AY.x) is still the most common VOC in India, and no new variant VOI or VOC has been discovered.
  • The Delta variety, first discovered in India in October 2020, triggered the country’s deadly second coronavirus pandemic.

What exactly is AY4.2?

  • 4.2 is a descendent of COVID-19’s Delta variation. In October 2020, the Delta variety, also known as B.1.617.2, was discovered for the first time in India.
  • The spike protein of the AY.4.2 sub-lineage has two mutations: A222V and Y145H.
  • The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has branded it “Delta Plus” and has renamed it VUI-21OCT-01.

What exactly is INSACOG?

  • The Indian Government established INSACOG, a national multi-agency cooperation of Regional Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSLs), in December 2020 to track genomic alterations in the covid-19 virus that causes SARS-CoV-2.
  • The consortium originally consisted of ten laboratories, but it has since grown to encompass 28 laboratories.
  • Genome sequencing and identification of variants of concern/variants of interest, prospective variants of interest, and other mutations are the responsibility of RGSLs. In the link, you may learn more about coronavirus variants.
  • The goal of the INSACOG is to increase coronavirus whole genome sequencing in order to better understand how it spreads and evolves.
  • It is run by the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The Health Ministry, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and the Indian Council of Medical Research have collaborated on INSACOG (ICMR).
  • Genome sequencing is significant because it enables researchers to better understand the function of specific mutations in boosting virus infectivity, immunological escape, and antibody evasion, all of which have implications for vaccine efficacy.

INCASOG’s declared goals are as follows:

  • To find out how Variants of Interest (VoI) and Variants of Concern (VoC) are doing in India.
  • Establish sentinel and surge surveillance techniques for early detection of genetic variations and to aid in the formulation of an appropriate public health response.
  • To find out if there are any genetic variants in samples taken during super-spreader events and in locations where cases/deaths are on the rise, etc.

INSACOG’s Obstacles to Success

  • The group’s goal was to sequence at least 5% of the samples because the novel coronavirus is spreading, evolving, and showing geographical variations.
  • This has been around 1% so far for a variety of reasons, principally due to a lack of finances and insufficient reagents and tools to scale up the procedure.
  • Despite the fact that it is staffed by experts, the INSACOG is ultimately an advisory group to the Central government and a part of its communication system.
  • Emerging variant warnings were not made public with appropriate urgency, and data exchange, even across INSACOG constituent organisations, was less than ideal.

 

3. Mass Extinction- the international journal Nature Geoscience

#GS3-Environmental Pollution &Conservation

Context

  • A new explanation for the first mass extinction, often known as the Late Ordovician mass extinction, was just published in the international journal Nature Geoscience.
  • It mentions that the ocean circulation pattern was likely altered by the cooling climate.
  • The flow of oxygen-rich water from shallow seas to deeper oceans was disrupted, resulting in a catastrophic extinction of marine species.

In depth information

 What is the definition of mass extinction?

  • Any significant rise in the quantity of extinction (lineage termination) sustained by more than one geographically widespread higher taxon during a relatively short period of geologic time, resulting in at least a brief fall in their standing diversity, is classified as a mass extinction.

 Mass Extinctions So Far:

Sixth Mass Extinction:

  • According to some researchers, we are currently undergoing a sixth mass extinction due to human-caused climate change (referred to as the Anthropocene extinction).
  • Only about 2% of all species that have ever lived are alive today, although the total number of species is more than it has ever been.
  • It is characterised as the most serious environmental issue because the extinction of species is irreversible.
  • Since our forefathers started agriculture over 11,000 years ago, species have been vanishing. The human population has grown from around 1 million to 7.7 billion people since then.

Possible repercussions:

  • The extinction of the species has real-world consequences, such as a loss of crop pollination and water cleansing.
  • Furthermore, if a species serves a certain purpose in an ecosystem, its extinction can have ramifications for other species via the food chain.
  • Extinction’s impacts are projected to worsen genetic and cultural heterogeneity, affecting entire ecosystems.
  • Its contribution to human welfare may be lost if genetic variability and resilience are compromised.

 

4. Ammonia Level in Yamuna

#GS3- Environmental Pollution & Degradation

 Context

  • Haryana’s water production has been hampered by high sewage and industrial waste.

In depth information

  • Ammonia levels rose to 3 ppm (parts per million) recently, prompting water treatment plants to lower their capacity by half.
  • According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the permitted maximum quantity of ammonia in drinking water is 0.5 ppm (BIS).

Pollution’s Causes

  • Two drains carrying drinking water and sewage or industrial waste, or both, are mixed together.
  • Haryana’s Yamuna River runs into Delhi, and the state has industrial plants along its banks.
  • Ammonia is a chemical that is used in the manufacturing of fertilisers, polymers, and colours.
  • Organic waste decomposition, gas exchange with the atmosphere, forest fires, and nitrogen fixation processes are all examples of natural processes.

The Consequences of Rising Ammonia

  • Ammonia reduces the amount of oxygen in the water as it is converted into oxidised forms of nitrogen, resulting in a biochemical oxygen demand.
  • As a result, the demand for biochemical oxygen rises (BOD).
  • The amount of oxygen required by bacteria and other microorganisms while decomposing organic matter under aerobic (oxygen present) conditions at a specific temperature is referred to as biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).
  • Bioaccumulation and Biomagnification
  • Ammonia in water at a concentration greater than 1 ppm is hazardous to fish.
  • Long-term intake of water with ammonia levels of 1 ppm or more can harm internal organs in humans.

Ahead of Schedule

  • Units that use ozone as a treatment
  • It can handle ammonia levels as high as 4 ppm.
  • At this time, the DJB does not have any ammonia-treatment technology.
  • Only appropriate sewage treatment plants at the source can provide a long-term solution.
  • Drain mixing should also be examined.
  • The installation of a conduit pipeline to separate sewage and potable water drains.
  • The Yamuna Monitoring Committee, which was constituted by the National Green Tribunal, also recommended that the construction of a conduit be expedited.
  • The minimal amount of water that should flow in the river at all times is known as the ecological flow.
  • Underwater and estuarine habitats, as well as human livelihoods, would benefit from maintaining a sustainable minimum flow.
  • The Yamuna Monitoring Committee advised the Ministry of Jal Shakti to rewrite the water-sharing agreement signed in 1994.
  • A deal between Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh to replenish the river by releasing more freshwater.

 

5. Kaho Village

GS1-Places in News

Context

  • The state of Arunachal Pradesh wants to film a documentary about Kaho village, which is close to the Chinese border.

In depth information

  • Kaho, one of seven settlements in the Kibithoo block bisected by the Lohit river, had survived the 1962 Chinese onslaught. Its citizens had aided the Indian forces, who were outmanned.
  • Itanagar is 580 kilometres east of the settlement.
  • Its inhabitants are members of the Meyor tribe.
  • Anjaw is one of Arunachal Pradesh’s 11 districts that share a border with China.
  • The film is part of the “Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav,” a statewide commemoration of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
  • Kaho has only 65 residents and a literacy rate of 64.15 percent, according to the 2011 census.

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