GS M Paper II
India and its neighborhood/India-Maldives
- UNGA head: India to vote for Maldives
- India will vote in support of Maldives’ Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in the election of the President of the United Nations General Assembly next week.
- The race between the South Asian neighbors for the post is chosen this time from the Asia Pacific grouping.
Asia- Pacific group of the UN:
- Consists of 53 Member States and is the second-largest regional group by the number of member states after the African Group.
- Its territory is composed of much of the continents of Asia and Oceania except for a few countries.
- The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN.
- All 193 Member States of the UN are represented in the General Assembly, making it the only UN body with universal representation.
- Decisions on important questions, such as those on peace and security, admission of new members, and budgetary matters, require two-thirds of the General Assembly.
- Decisions on other questions are by simple majority.
- The President of the General Assembly is elected each year by the assembly to serve a one-year term of office.
- The presidency rotates annually between the five geographic groups: African, Asia-Pacific, Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean, and Western European and other States.
GS M Paper III
Science and Technology
Awareness in the field of IT, Space and Biotechnology
- Only one strain of COVID-19 Delta variant detected in India is now of concern: WHO
- Only one strain of the COVID-19 Delta variant, detected in India first, is now of concern, said the World Health Organization (WHO) adding two other strains named B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 variants Kappa’ and ‘Delta has been downgraded.
- This development came after India objected to the B.1.617 mutant of the novel coronavirus being dubbed as an “Indian Variant”.
Four variants of COVID-19 identified
- The variant first detected in Britain will be known as Alpha, the one first found in South Africa will be Beta and the one identified in Brazil will be called Gamma.
- The fourth variant first detected in India, which was been designated as a variant of concern on May 11, will be known as Delta.
How do variants of a virus emerge and why?
- Variants of a virus have one or more mutations that differentiate them from the other variants that are in circulation.
- Essentially, the goal of the virus is to reach a stage where it can cohabitate with humans because it needs a host to survive.
- Errors in the viral RNA are called mutations, and viruses with these mutations are called variants. Variants could differ by a single or many mutations.
- In the case of SARS-CoV-2, which is a Ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus, a mutation means a change in the sequence in which its molecules [RNA Bases] are arranged.
- ADB, India sign agreement to support the preparation of road up-gradation project in Sikkim
- The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India today signed a $2.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) loan to support project preparation and design activities to upgrade major district roads in Sikkim that will help improve connectivity to important towns, rural areas, and pilgrimage and tourist destinations in the northeastern state.
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region, and it is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.
- ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
- China’s ‘Artificial Sun’ burns at 120 mn degree Celsius: Scientists replicate Sun’s fusion reaction on Earth
- China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), which mimics the energy generation process of the sun, set a new record after it ran at 216 million degrees Fahrenheit (120 million degrees Celsius) for 101 seconds.
- For another 20 seconds, the “artificial sun” also achieved a peak temperature of 288 million degrees Fahrenheit (160 million degrees Celsius), which is over ten times hotter than the sun.
China’s ‘artificial sun’ EAST?
- The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor is an advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device located at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, China.
- The purpose of the artificial sun is to replicate the process of nuclear fusion, which is the same reaction that powers the sun.
- The EAST project is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility, which will become the world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor when it becomes operational in 2035.
- The project includes the contributions of several countries, including India, South Korea, Japan, Russia, and the United States.
- In 2020, South Korea’s KSTAR reactor set a new record by maintaining a plasma temperature of over 100 million degrees Celsius for 20 seconds.
- Assistance to Sri Lanka – Operation Sagar Aaraksha II
- Indian Coast Guard (ICG), in coordination with Sri Lankan authorities, has been tirelessly engaged in fighting a major fire on board the Chemical laden container vessel MV X-Press Pearl anchored off Colombo since 25 May 2021.
- The coordinated joint operation between India and Sri Lanka undertook to respond to potential environmental danger has been named Sagar Aaraksha-II.
- The ICG being an active member of the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) remains committed to its responsibility of safeguarding the ocean environment in the region.
INS Sandhayak to be Decommissioned on 04 Jun 21
- INS Sandhayak, the first of its class indigenously designed and built Hydrographic Survey Ship of Indian Navy, will be decommissioned on Friday, 04 Jun 21 after serving the nation for 40 years.