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Government Interventions

National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC)

Why in news?

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) reviewed rescue and relief measures being carried out in cyclone 'Fani' affected areas in Odisha, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh.

About NCMC

  • A National Crisis Management Committee is a temporary committee set up by the Government of India in the wake of a natural calamity for effective coordination and implementation of relief measures and operations.
  • It is headed by Cabinet Secretary.
  • The Agriculture Secretary shall provide all necessary information to and seek directions on the constitution of such a committee,.
  • In the absence of such a Cabinet Committee, all matter relating to relief shall be reported to the Cabinet
 
Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act of 1994

Why in news?

SC upholds constitutionality of Section 23 of PCPNDT Act.

About the news

  • It is the provisions in the anti-pre-natal sex determination law which ‘criminalises’ non-maintenance of medical records by obstetricians and gynaecologists and suspend their medical licence indefinitely.

About the act

  • Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act of 1994 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to stop female foeticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in India.

Salient Features

  • The Act provides for the prohibition of sex selection, before or after conception.
  • It regulates the use of pre-natal diagnostic techniques, like ultrasound and amniocentesis by allowing them their use only to detect
  • Genetic abnormalities
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Certain congenital malformations
  • Haemoglobinopathies
  • Sex linked disorders
  • No laboratory or centre or clinic will conduct any test including ultrasonography for the purpose of determining the sex of the foetus.
  • No person will communicate the sex of the foetus to the pregnant woman or her relatives by words, signs or any other method.
  • Any person who puts an advertisement for pre-natal and pre-conception sex determination facilities can be imprisoned for up to three years and fined Rs. 10,000.
  • The Act mandates compulsory registration of all diagnostic laboratories, all genetic counselling centres, genetic laboratories, genetic clinics and ultrasound clinics.
  • It is for the prevention of their misuse for sex determination leading to female foeticide.

Security

INS Vishal

Why in news?

The United Kingdom is in talks with the Indian government on building a new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier to be named INS Vishal in 2022.

About the news

  • It will be along the lines of Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the ongoing ‘Make in India’ negotiations.
 
  • It would serve alongside India’s 45,000-ton carrier INS Vikramaditya bought from Russia in 2004 and the currently under-construction 40,000-ton INS Vikrant.
  • It would follow the sale of Britain’s Falklands War carrier HMS Hermes to India in 1987, which was renamed INS Viraat and decommissioned two years ago.

About INS Vishal

  • INS Vishal is a planned aircraft carrier to be built by Cochin Shipyard Limited for the Indian Navy.
  • It is also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 2 (IAC-2).
  • It is intended to be the second aircraft carrier to be built in India after INS Vikrant (IAC-1).
  • It will be the first supercarrier to be built in India.
INS Vela

Why in news?

INS VELA submarine to be launched for trials today.

About the news

  • The INS Vela is the fourth of the six submarines of Scorpene class that has completed its out fittings at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) Mumbai.
  • The Navy inducted the second Scorpene submarine Khanderi by early May 2019.
  • Khanderi was launched in January 2017 and has since been undergoing a series of trials.
  • The third in the Scorpene series Karanj which was launched in January 2018 is in advanced stage of trials and could be ready for induction by year end.
  • The last two submarines Vagir and Vagsheer are in advanced stages of manufacturing on the assembly line.
  • The first submarine of the class, Kalvari joined service in December 2017.
  • The entire project is expected to be completed by 2020.
  • In addition, the Navy currently operates four German HDW class submarines and nine Russian Kilo class submarines.
  • The Navy had last inducted a conventional diesel-electric submarine, INS Sindhushastra, procured from Russia in July 2000.

About Project 75I

  • The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian navy.
  • The Project 75 Kalvari classis a class of diesel-electricattack submarines based on the Scorpène-class submarine being built for the Indian Navy.
  • Under Project-75, French Company DCNS will provide design and technology to public sector Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai to make six Scorpene diesel submarines by 2022.
  • The first one, INS Kalvari, a diesel-electric attack submarine was commissioned by Prime Minister on December 2016.
  • The second one, INS Khandari, was launched on January 2017 is currently undergoing sea trials.
 
  • INS Karanjis the third of the six Scorpene-class submarines being built by MDL under the Project 75 programme of Indian navy.
  • It is processed through theStrategic Partnership (SP) model.

Science and Technology

CRISPR-Cas9

Why in news?

Researchers identify drugs that block CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.

About CRISPR-Cas 9

  • CRISPR/Cas9 is a new targeted gene editing technique used in molecular biology.
  • By delivering the Cas9 nuclease complexed with a synthetic guide RNA (gRNA) into a cell, the cell's genome can be cut at a desired location, allowing existing genes to be removed and/or new ones added.

Principle of action

  • Gene editing with CRISPR-Cas9 starts with the introduction of circular DNA plasmids encoding components of the editing machinery into the recipient cells.
  • The editing machinery consists of two parts
  1. The DNA that codes for the Cas9 protein
  2. A specific RNA, called guide RNA or gRNA
  • In the recipient cell, the gRNA guides the machinery to the site of the genome where the Cas9 protein makes a double-stranded break next to the site of editing, which is subsequently repaired using the recipient cell’s endogenous DNA repair mechanisms.

Advantages

  • Higher specificity compared to other gene editing techniques.
  • Ease of use
  • The requirement of inexpensive reagents
  • High therapeutic potential where previously untreatable genetic conditions could be treated.
  • Editing DNA is just one trick that it can be used for
  • Used to send proteins to precise DNA targets to toggle genes on or off
  • Used to visualize genes by targeting bio markers to the specific site

Disadvantages

  • Sometime it causes ‘off-target’ effects or undesirable mutations.
  • Bioethical concerns have been raised about the prospect of using CRISPR for germ line editing.

More about CRISPR/CAS system

  • CRISPR is an abbreviation of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.
  • The CRISPR/Cas system is a prokaryotic immune system.
  • CRISPR/Cas system confers resistance to foreign genetic elements such as those present within plasmids and phages that provides a form of acquired immunity.
  • Other targeted mutagenesis methods:
  • RNA interference (RNAi)
  • Zinc-finger nucleases [ZFNs]
  • Transcription-activator like effector nucleases [TALENs]

Map Aided Programme

Coal mines in India

State

Coal Field

West Bengal

Ranigunj (Oldest coal field in India)

Jharkhand

Jharia (Largest), Bokaro, Dhanbad, Giridih, Karanpura, Ramgarh, Daltonganj

Madhya Pradesh

Singrauli, Suhagpur,  Johila, Umaria, Satpura coalfield

Odisha

Talcher, Himgiri, Rampur

Andhra Pradesh

Kantapalli, Singareni

Chhattisgarh

Korba, Bisrampur, Sonhat, Jhilmil, Hasdo-Arand

Assam

Makum, Najira, Janji, Jaipur

Meghalaya

Umralong, Darrangiri, Cherrapunji, Mawlong, Langrin

Arunachal Pradesh

Naqmchik-Namphuk

Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)-(2013)

  1. The sales tax youWhat are the significances of a practical approach to sugarcane production known as ‘Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative’?
  2. Seed cost is very low in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.
  3. Drip irrigation can be practiced very effectively in this.
  4. There is no application of chemical/ inorganic fertilizers at all in this.
  5. The scope for intercropping is more in this compared to the conventional method of cultivation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  • 1 and 3 only (b) 1, 2 and 4 only                  

(c) 2, 3 and 4 only             (d) 1, 2, 3 and 4