Welcome to TARUN IAS – Your Daily News Analysis for UPSC/IAS Exam Preparation!
Stay informed with relevant current affairs from trusted sources like The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, and more. Our daily news analysis includes Prelims Facts and Important Editorials presented in a concise and bulletised format. Get free daily updates at 12 noon (except Sundays). Don’t miss the Daily Revision Quiz to reinforce your knowledge. Good luck!
Here are the topics covered for 29 September 2023:Tropical Cyclone, Green Revolution , Earthquake Alert Service, Global Innovation Index 2023, Monoclonal antibody, Antimatter
Table of Content
- Tropical Cyclone
- Green Revolution
- Earthquake Alert Service
- Global Innovation Index 2023
Facts for Prelims
- Monoclonal antibody
- A recent INCOIS study shows that Tropical cyclones are intensifying more rapidly and frequently.
- Global warming has heightened cyclone intensity, with multiple rapid intensifications leading to the unpredictability of cyclone behaviour.
- A growing number of cyclones are experiencing multiple rapid intensification globally where a tropical cyclone intensifies dramatically in a short period like an increase in the cyclone’s intensity of 30 knots speed or more in 24 hours and this poses significant challenges to cyclone forecasting, as per report of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).
- Scientists have deduced that global warming has heightened cyclone intensity, with multiple rapid intensifications leading to the unpredictability of cyclone behaviour.
- Usually, cyclone intensification occurs during the initial stages but now, with ocean warming, it is occurring even in the mature stages.
- There is a significant surge in the frequency of multiple rapid intensifications across all ocean basins with the western north Pacific Ocean basin contributing to nearly half of the total occurrences and the north Indian Ocean basin having a comparatively low rate.
- Warming of the surface ocean from anthropogenic climate change is fuelling more powerful tropical cyclones.
- A tropical cyclone is a large, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that forms over warm ocean waters near the equator.
- They are known by different names in different parts of the world, such as hurricanes in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific, typhoons in the northwestern Pacific, and cyclones in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.
- Tropical cyclones form when warm ocean water heats the air above it, causing it to rise and create an area of low pressure. As the warm, moist air rises, it cools and condenses into clouds and rain. This process releases latent heat, which further warms the surrounding air, reinforcing the low-pressure system.
- The eye is a region of calm and relatively clear weather at the centre of a tropical cyclone. It is surrounded by the eyewall, which contains the strongest winds and heaviest rainfall.
- Tropical cyclones are steered by atmospheric circulation patterns and move generally westward due to trade winds near the equator.
Tropical cyclones play a significant role in Earth’s climate system, redistributing heat and moisture around the planet. While they are a natural phenomenon, their impacts can be devastating, underscoring the importance of preparedness, early warning systems, and climate adaptation strategies in vulnerable regions.
Earthquake Alert Service
- Google To Roll Out Earthquake Alert Service In India.
- Internet major Google will roll out an earthquake alert service in India that works using sensors in Android smartphones to detect and estimate the intensity of earthquakes.
- The alert service will be available in Android 5 and later versions of the operating system.
- Google has introduced ‘Android Earthquake Alerts System‘ in India in consultation with the National Disaster Management Authority and the National Seismology Centre.
How will it work?
- The system takes the help of tiny accelerometers present in Android smartphones that can act as mini seismometers.
- When a phone is plugged in and charging, it can detect the very beginnings of earthquake shaking.
- If many phones detect earthquake-like shaking around the same time, google servers can use this information to estimate that an earthquake may be happening, as well as characteristics of the event – like its epicentre and magnitude.
Current provision in India
- India has an earthquake alert service provided by the National Centre for Seismology (NCS), which operates under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. The NCS is responsible for monitoring seismic activity and providing timely information about earthquakes in India.
- The NCS maintains a network of seismometers and sensors across the country to monitor ground motion and detect seismic activity.
- Earthquake alerts are disseminated through multiple channels, including the NCS website, mobile apps, social media, and SMS notifications.
- The NCS collaborates with international organizations and seismological agencies to enhance its capabilities for earthquake monitoring and early warning.
Global Innovation Index 2023
- Switzerland, Sweden and the U.S. lead the Global Innovation Ranking; Innovation Robust but Startup Funding Increasingly Uncertain
- Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore are the world’s most innovative economies in 2023, according to WIPO’s Global Innovation Index (GII), as a group of middle-income economies have emerged over the past decade as the fastest climbers of the ranking.
- The GII 2023 uses 80 indicators to track global innovation trends in 130-plus economies, guiding policymakers and business leaders in stimulating human ingenuity.
- This year, the report’s findings are unveiled against a background of slow economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, high-interest rates and geopolitical conflict.
- The 2023 edition identifies an increasingly uncertain outlook for venture capital (VC) that helps transform human ingenuity into new products and services, with the global value of VC funding marking a significant plunge last year.
- A total of 21 economies outperformed on innovation as expected relative to their level of development, the majority located in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, East Asia, and Oceania.
- India, the Republic of Moldova and Vietnam are each innovation overperformers for 13 years in a row.
- A group of emerging economies are consistently climbing the GII ranks, showing how a focus on the innovation ecosystem can make a difference.
- With the GII, policymakers across the world continue to have a rich and trusted source of data and information to craft pro-innovation policies to unleash the innovative potential of their people.
GII’s key findings:
- Scientific publications, R&D, venture capital deals, and patents hit record highs in 2022, but growth rates were slower than in 2021.
- Corporate R&D spending reached an all-time high of USD 1.1 trillion, with a 7.4% increase in 2022 (down from 15% in 2021).
- ICT hardware, especially graphic card and chipmakers, led R&D growth. Sectors like automobiles and travel rebounded strongly in 2022.
- Global government R&D budgets rose in real terms.
- VC investments dropped nearly 40% in 2022.
- The VC outlook for 2023 and 2024 is uncertain due to high-interest rates affecting innovation financing.
- Progress is seen in information technology, health, and energy sectors, but some technologies like electric vehicles and cancer treatment still have low adoption rates.
- M.S. Swaminathan, an eminent agricultural scientist, passes away. He was the key architect of India’s ‘Green Revolution’.
- Swaminathan is widely recognized for his significant contributions to the field of agriculture and for his efforts to alleviate food insecurity and improve agricultural practices in India and around the world.
- India’s Green Revolution, led by Dr. M.S Swaminathan, paved the way for high-yielding varieties of crops in the country.
What was the Green Revolution?
- In the mid-1960s, India’s Green Revolution emerged, marked by rapid scientific advancements in agriculture. Dr. Swaminathan spearheaded this movement. It focused on high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat varieties, mainly in Punjab. The revolution’s foundation lay in short-straw or dwarf strains of crops like rice and wheat. These varieties boasted a higher Harvest Index, directing more energy into seeds over other plant structures. The Harvest Index serves as a measure of crop yield relative to total biomass.
The Green Revolution featured:
- Introduction of High-Yielding Varieties (HYVs) with traits like disease resistance, shorter growth duration, and better response to fertilizers.
- Technological Advances: Employed modern farming techniques, machinery, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides for higher yields.
- Irrigation Expansion: Significantly improved irrigation systems for consistent crop water supply.
- Government Support: Provided subsidies, credit access, and price support to encourage technology adoption.
- Increased Crop Yields: Particularly prominent for staple crops like rice and wheat.
- Food Security Impact: Boosted self-sufficiency, lowered food prices, and enhanced accessibility.
- Agricultural Practices Shift: Transitioned from traditional subsistence farming to commercial practices.
- Environmental Concerns: Raised issues of sustainability due to heavy chemical input reliance, leading to soil and water degradation, and pest resistance.
The M.S. Swaminathan Committee, officially known as the National Commission on Farmers (NCF), was established in 2004 by the Government of India.
The primary objective of this commission was to address the various issues and challenges faced by Indian farmers and to suggest policies and measures for their welfare and sustainable agricultural development.
Green Revolution success varied depending on factors like local agricultural practices, access to resources, and government policies.
The Green Revolution is credited with helping to avert widespread famine in several parts of the world and significantly contributing to the global increase in food production. However, it also sparked debates about its long-term sustainability and the need for more environmentally-friendly agricultural practices.
Facts for Prelims
- A monoclonal antibody (mAb) is a type of antibody that is produced by identical immune cells, which are all clones of a unique parent cell. These antibodies are designed to bind to a specific target, such as a particular protein or antigen. They are an important class of therapeutic agents and have various applications in medicine and biotechnology.
- Monoclonal antibodies are created by generating identical copies of a single immune cell, known as a hybridoma. This hybridoma is formed by fusing an antibody-producing B cell with a myeloma cell (a type of cancer cell that can continuously divide).
- They are designed to bind to a single target, such as a specific protein or antigen on a pathogen (e.g., a virus or bacteria).
- Monoclonal antibodies are used in medicine for various therapeutic purposes. They can be engineered to target and neutralize specific disease-causing agents, making them effective treatments for conditions like cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases.
- Monoclonal antibodies are used in diagnostic tests, such as pregnancy tests, blood tests, and disease screening. They can detect specific biomarkers or antigens in patient samples.
- Unlike conventional chemotherapy, which can affect both cancerous and healthy cells, monoclonal antibodies can be designed to target specific markers on cancer cells, minimizing damage to normal tissue.
- Monoclonal antibodies are used in biotechnology for protein purification, as they can be engineered to bind specifically to a target protein, allowing for its isolation and study.
Monoclonal antibodies have significantly advanced medical science and have become a cornerstone of modern therapeutic approaches, especially in the fields of oncology, immunology, and infectious diseases.
- Antimatter is a type of matter composed of particles that have the same mass as ordinary particles but opposite electric charge and other quantum properties, such as spin.
- When a particle of matter encounters its corresponding antiparticle, they annihilate each other, releasing energy in the form of gamma rays. This property makes antimatter a powerful and potentially efficient energy source, though currently, it is extremely difficult and expensive to produce and store in significant quantities.
- Antimatter consists of antiparticles, which are counterparts to the particles of ordinary matter. For example, the antiparticle of an electron is a positron, which has a positive charge.
- When a particle of matter and its corresponding antiparticle come into contact, they annihilate each other in a burst of energy. This process is highly efficient, converting all mass into energy according to Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc².
- Antimatter can be created in high-energy processes, such as those occurring in particle accelerators or during certain types of radioactive decay.