Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Acute Encephalitis Syndrome or Brain fever
- Pro-tem speaker
- Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO)
- Windrush Scheme
- Prime Ministers Office
- Facts for Prelims : Quadrilateral Security Dialogue
1 . Brain Fever
Context : At least 28 children have died in the past one month in Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar, allegedly due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), which is locally known as Chamki bukhar (brain fever).
About Brain Fever
- Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) is characterized by acute-onset of fever and a change in mental status (mental confusion, disorientation, delirium, or coma) and/or new-onset of seizures in a person of any age at any time of the year.
- Viruses are the main causative agents in AES cases, although other sources such as bacteria, fungus, parasites, spirochetes, chemicals, toxins and noninfectious agents have also been reported over the past few decades.
- Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the major cause of AES in India (ranging from 5%-35%).Herpes simplex virus, Influenza A virus, West Nile virus, Chandipura virus, mumps, measles, dengue, Parvovirus B4, enteroviruses, Epstein-Barr virus and scrub typhus, S.pneumoniae are the other causes of AES in sporadic and outbreak form in India.
- Nipah virus, Zika virus are also found as causative agents for AES. The etiology in a large number of AES cases still remains unidentified.
- The outbreak of JE usually coincides with the monsoon and post monsoon period when the density of mosquitoes increases while encephalitis due to other viruses specially entero-viruses occurs throughout the year as it is a water borne disease.
Outbreak in India ( Important)
- In India, AES outbreaks in north and eastern India have been linked to children eating unripe litchi fruit on empty stomachs.
- Unripe fruit contain the toxins hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG), which cause vomiting if ingested in large quantities.
- Hypoglycin A is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the unripened litchi that causes severe vomiting (Jamaican vomiting sickness), while MCPG is a poisonous compound found in litchi seeds that causes a sudden drop in blood sugar, vomiting, altered mental states leading to lethargy, unconsciousness, coma and death.
- These toxins cause sudden high fever and seizures serious enough to require hospitalisation in young, severely malnourished children.
2 . Pro-tem Speaker
Context : BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh Virendra Kumar will be the Pro-tem Speaker of the Lok Sabha, official sources said on Tuesday.
About Pro-tem speaker
- Pro-tem speaker is a temporary speaker appointed for a limited time period to conduct the works in Lok Sabha or in state legislatures.
- When the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies have been elected, but the vote for the speaker and deputy speaker has not taken place, the pro-tem speaker is chosen for the conduct of the house.
- The name of pro-tem speaker is decided by the ruling party or alliance and sent to the president through the ministry of parliamentary affairs.
- As per norms, the pro tem speaker is the longest serving member of the house or one of its very senior members.
- The main duty of the pro-tem speaker is to administer the oath of office to new members of the house. He also enables the House to elect the new Speaker. Once the new Speaker is elected, the office of the pro tem speaker ceases to exist.
- When the Offices of both the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker fall vacant, the duties of the Office of the Speaker are performed by such Member of the Lok Sabha as the President may appoint for the purpose. The person so appointed is known as the Speaker pro tem.
- The powers of the pro tem speaker are not defined.
3 . Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO)
Context : “The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared the setting up of the Defence Space Research Agency (DSRO) which has been entrusted with the task of creating space warfare weapon systems and technologies,
About Defence Space Research Agency
- With the aim of enhancing the capabilities of the armed forces to fight wars in space, the government has approved the setting up of a new agency which will develop sophisticated weapon systems and technologies for the purpose.
- The agency would be provided with a team of scientists which would be working in close coordination with the tri-services integrated Defence staff officers.
- It would be providing the research and development support to the Defence Space Agency (DSA) which comprises members of the three services. The DSA has been created to help the country fight wars in the space.
- The Defence Space Agency is being set up in Bengaluru under an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer and will gradually take over the space-related capabilities of the three forces.
- In March, India had carried out the Anti Satellite Test (ASAT) which demonstrated its capability to shoot down satellites and joined an elite club of four nations with similar capability.
- The test also helped the country develop deterrence capability against adversaries who may want to attack Indian satellites to cripple systems in times of war.
4 . Windrush Scheme
Context : Hundreds more of Indian origin confirmed as British in windrush scheme
About Windrush Scheme
- Windrush Scheme involves the immigration status of the members of the Windrush generation.
- The generation comprises British African Caribbean people, Indians and several other Asians who were mainly brought to the UK on a ship – HMT Empire Windrush – in 1948 as Britain faced an acute labor shortage.
- Windrush Scheme ensures that members of this generation, their children born in the UK and those who arrived in the UK as minors will be able to apply for citizenship, or various other immigration products, free of charge
- In 2017 ,Home office of UK have threatened the children of Commonwealth immigrants who arrived in the UK before 1973 with deportation if they could not provide valid immigration documents as proof.
5 . Prime Minister Office
Context : Nripendra Misra and P K Mishra were on Tuesday re-appointed as Principal Secretary and Additional Principal Secretary respectively to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with cabinet minister rank.
- The PMO provides secretarial assistance to the Prime Minister.
- It is headed by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.
- The PMO includes the anti-corruption unit and the public wing dealing with grievances.
- The office houses the Prime Minister and few selected officers of Civil Services who work with him to manage and coordinate government and his office.
- The Prime Minister through his office coordinates with all ministers in the central union cabinet, minister of independent charges and governors and ministers of state government.
- The Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) and the National Defence Fund (NDF) are operated directly from the PMO
6 . Facts for Prelims
Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD
- Quadrilateral Security Dialogue also known as the Quad is an informal strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India.
- The dialogue was initiated in 2007 but subsequently in 2010 Australia pulled out however, during the 2017 ASEAN Summits all four former members rejoined in negotiations to revive the quadrilateral alliance.
- The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar.