Daily News Analysis 21 April 2023

Table of Contents



  • India-UAE Cooperation to sow regional food security

Facts for Prelims

  • India’s population
  • National Quantum Mission
  • Sea cucumber

A new edge to the fight against tuberculosis


On March 24, 2023, Prime Minister spoke at the One World TB Summit in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He urged the world to intensify the fight against tuberculosis (TB) and stressed the importance of innovation and research in finding new ways to combat TB. To achieve the goal of TB elimination, new tools and disruptive approaches must be introduced to prevent, diagnose, and treat TB.

COVID-19 lessons

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we can overcome unprecedented adversity by adapting, learning, experimenting, and innovating.
  • The success in countering COVID-19 can be replicated to end TB.
  • Together, we can overcome any challenge.

India\’s TB elimination efforts

  • India\’s National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) has introduced several measures to find, notify, and treat TB cases.
  • The program\’s expanded reach and improved detection measures have led to increased case notifications.
  • Engagement with the private sector, social support provisions, and diagnostic tools and new drug regimens have improved TB management.
  • However, lack of widespread awareness about the disease and access to quality care continue to be a challenge.
  • For every person notified with TB, almost two more cases are missed.

Innovative approaches

  • Disruptive approaches and new tools are needed to prevent, diagnose, and treat TB.
  • India has recognized the importance of investing in health research and development.
  • Centers of excellence will facilitate collaboration between Indian Council of Medical Research laboratories and the private sector.
  • Research and development efforts must be strengthened and expanded for TB.
  • New tools can help India and other developing countries meet the End TB targets.

Prioritizing TB vaccine trials

  • A vaccine is what makes elimination possible for any infectious disease.
  • The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine for TB does not adequately protect adolescents and adults who are at the highest risk for developing and spreading TB.
  • Over 15 TB vaccine candidates are in the pipeline, and their clinical trials must be prioritized to assess their efficacy for different target groups.

Accessible and affordable testing and diagnosis

  • Testing for and diagnosing TB must become more accessible and affordable.
  • Point-of-Care Tests (POCTs) can provide rapid and low-cost diagnostics with results within minutes.
  • Nasal and tongue swab-based tests and handheld digital x-ray machines can reduce diagnostic delays.

Development of new therapeutic molecules

  • New therapeutic molecules can play a crucial role in the long run.
  • Shorter, safer, and more effective regimens exist, but timelines for scale-up have been too long.
  • Existing drugs can be repurposed for TB.

Appropriate policy frameworks

  • Regulatory and policy frameworks must be created to smoothen the rollout of proven tools.
  • Collaboration is required between policymakers, scientists, product developers, and clinical researchers across the country and even between governments.
  • Harmonisation of standards and regulatory processes between countries can enable mutual recognition of evidence-based standards and licences.

India\’s role as a pioneer in innovation

  • India\’s scientific ingenuity during the COVID-19 pandemic has cemented its position as a pioneer in innovation in the life sciences.


A strong platform must be created to channelize investments in research to bring in a paradigm shift at every stage of the TB care cascade.India, as part of the G-20, can take the lead in shaping the global TB response.


YZ Ceti b



Recently, astronomers have detected a repeating radio signal from the YZ Ceti b exoplanet that suggests the presence of a magnetic field around it.

Cetus constellation in the evening sky

  • Cetus constellation is visible in the sky during October.
  • It can be seen without using any tools and is high above the horizon.
  • Looking towards Cetus means you would be looking towards an alien world called YZ Ceti b.
  • Astronomers are excited about YZ Ceti b because of a recent discovery.

YZ Ceti b and its magnetic field

  • YZ Ceti b is an earth-sized exoplanet that orbits around a small red dwarf star.
  • Astronomers have detected a repeating radio signal from YZ Ceti b.
  • This signal suggests the presence of a magnetic field, which is necessary for a habitable planet.
  • The discovery was made using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico.

Importance of the magnetic field

  • Intense bursts of energy from the exchange between YZ Ceti b and its star produce spectacular auroral lights.
  • Radio waves received on earth confirmed the existence of an exoplanetary magnetic field.
  • The signals can only be produced if the exoplanet orbits very close to its parent star and has its own magnetic field.
  • The magnetic field is important for protecting a planet\’s atmosphere from being eroded by charged particles from its star.

Implications for YZ Ceti b and exoplanets in general

  • YZ Ceti b takes just a couple of earth days to circle its star, indicating a small orbit.
  • Nearly half of all stars visible in the sky could potentially have rocky, earth-sized planets in habitable orbits around them.
  • Planets in habitable orbits need to be at a certain distance from their star to sustain water and have an atmosphere.
  • The survival of a planet\’s atmosphere may depend on its having a strong magnetic field.

Future research and conclusions

  • The discovery of YZ Ceti b\’s magnetic field may help lead towards the magnetic characterization of exoplanets.
  • Longer-term monitoring is important to confirm the results and investigate the properties of the radio signals.
  • Mars and Earth were very much alike billions of years ago, but their different atmospheres resulted in one becoming habitable and the other becoming barren.
  • These findings will help astronomers learn more about the rocky netherworlds in the deepest reaches of space.


Galapagos Islands


A new coral reef with lots of sea creatures has been found near the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador by a group of scientists.

About Galapagos Island

  • Location: The Galapagos Islands are located about 1,000 km from the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Underwater Wildlife Spectacle: The islands are famous for their abundance of marine life and are distributed on either side of the Equator.
  • Geology of the Island: The Galapagos Islands began at the sea floor and emerged above sea level. The islands are very young, with the largest and youngest islands having less than one million years of existence.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Galapagos Islands were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978.
  • Mount Azul: Mount Azul is the highest point in the Galapagos Islands, standing at 5,541 feet.

Key facts about Coral Reefs

  • Corals are marine animals without a spine, called polyps.
  • Colonies: Thousands of polyps live together to form a colony, which grows when polyps multiply to make copies of themselves.
  • Symbiotic Relationship: Corals have a symbiotic relationship with single-celled algae called zooxanthellae.
  • Benefits: The algae provide the coral with food and nutrients through photosynthesis. In turn, the corals provide a home and key nutrients to the algae, which give the corals their bright colors.


N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)


The Gujarat High Court has sent a notice to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and the Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA). This notice was given in a public interest litigation (PIL) requesting the removal of drugs and medicines with dangerous chemicals like NDMA that can cause cancer from the Indian market.

About N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA):

  • It is a type of chemical that is found widely in the environment, and can be formed from certain precursors.
  • Cancer-causing potential: Studies on animals have suggested that NDMA could potentially cause cancer in humans.
  • Origins: NDMA was once used to create rocket fuel and can also be a byproduct of manufacturing processes and water chlorination.
  • Breakdown: NDMA breaks down when exposed to sunlight.

Exposure to NDMA

  • Exposure to small amounts of NDMA is common in the environment, food and water.
  • Certain chemicals in food and water can turn into NDMA in the stomach.
  • Processed food and drink, such as cured meats, beer, fish, cheese and vegetables, can contain NDMA.
  • Some people may have been exposed to NDMA through contaminated medications.

About Gujarat High Court Notice on NDMA-containing drugs:

  • Notice issued: The Gujarat High Court has issued a notice to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and the Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA).
  • PIL: The notice is in response to a public interest litigation (PIL).
  • Request: The PIL seeks the immediate removal of drugs and medicines containing NDMA from the Indian market.
  • Reason: The reason behind the request is the presence of \”cancerous impurities\” such as NDMA in these drugs.
  • Potential harm: The presence of NDMA in drugs and medicines can potentially harm people who consume them.
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