Daily Current Affairs : 21st August

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. D Voters
  2. Panglossian
  3. Lunar Orbit Insertion
  4. XDR TB
  5. QR code for Haryana Building

1 . D Voters

Context : Election Commission to revisit ‘D’ voter criterion ahead of final NRC

About D Voters

  • D’ voters are a category of voters in Assam whose citizenship is doubtful or under dispute. This category was introduced in 1997 at the time EC was revising the state’s voter list.
  • D voters continue to remain on Assam’s electoral roll, they cannot vote in an election unless their case is decided by a Foreigners’ Tribunal.
  • Around 1.2 lakh ‘D’ voters did not participate in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. However, those excluded from the draft NRC were allowed to vote.

2 . Panglossian

About Panglossian Story

  • The expression refers to Professor Pangloss, a character in Candide, ou l’Optimisme a satirical novella published by the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire in 1759.
  • Pangloss was convinced that “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds”, an idea that he also taught his young student, Candide.
  • While this philosophy was easy to believe in while Candide and his tutor lived a sheltered life in a baron’s castle in Westphalia, Pangloss refused to part with his optimism even after contracting syphilis, becoming a beggar (after the castle was attacked and many inmates were killed before his eyes), surviving an earthquake, a fire, and a tsunami, and being almost hanged, among other hardships.Nor was Pangloss’s optimism limited to his outlook on his own affairs.
  • At one point in the story, Jacques, who had helped Pangloss in many ways, including curing his syphilis, is drowning. While Candide tries to save him, Pangloss lets him die because, in his philosophy, whatever happened was for the best, and one should not make any effort to change it.

About Leibiniz Theory

  • Panglossian way of life is one of extreme optimism, in which you are convinced whatever happens is for the best, and hence make no effort to change it.
  • Voltaire created the exaggerated character of Pangloss to mock the extreme optimism advocated by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a German philosopher a few years his senior. (Leibniz also designed a calculating machine that was the predecessor of the modern calculator.)
  • Leibniz’s theory was that a benevolent God created this world, the best possible one that He could have created.
  • Voltaire on the other hand, believed that if this were indeed the case, earthquakes, famines and other non-benevolent things wouldn’t occur with the regularity that they did.
  • He, thus, placed more importance on human effort and intent, something Candide finally tells Pangloss — that the world may be what it is, but “we must cultivate our garden”.

3 . Lunar Orbit Insertion

Context : On Tuesday, India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission crossed a major milestone on its journey towards the Moon, having entered a lunar orbit, almost exactly 30 days after being launched on July 22.

About Lunar Orbit Insertion

  • After being launched, Chandrayaan-2 had been put in an elliptical orbit around the Earth.
  • Until August 14, it had been going around the Earth, incrementally raising its orbit by firing boosters on five occasions.
  • Eventually, it reached an orbit that was 276 km from the Earth’s surface at its closest and 142,975 km at the farthest. It spent nearly a week in that orbit, before firing a booster once again to break free from the Earth orbit and begin its journey towards the Moon. This transit from orbit to orbit happened on August 14.
  • After five days of this journey, Chandrayaan-2 came sufficiently close to the Moon to experience its gravity.
  • Chandrayaan-2 is now orbiting the Moon. On Tuesday, it was placed into an elliptical orbit that was 114 km from the Moon’s surface at its nearest, and 18,072 km at the farthest.
  • The spacecraft will carry out a few more manoeuvres to eventually place itself in a circular orbit of 100 km × 100 km around the Moon. The Lander and Rover modules will detach themselves from here and descend into lower orbits before finally making a landing on September 7.
  • The main spacecraft, however, will continue to orbit the Moon in the 100 km circular orbit for at least one year, making observations through the several instruments it has on board.

Importance of Manoeuvres

  • It is possible to fly straight to the Moon, without getting into the Earth orbits. The lunar orbit, however, cannot be avoided. The spacecraft cannot land directly on the Moon.
  • In fact, none of the Apollo missions that landed astronauts on the Moon took the route that Chandrayaan-2, or all other recent missions to Moon, have taken. The Apollo missions flew directly to the Moon. Apollo missions were carried on giant Saturn V rockets, which even today remain the most powerful rockets ever built. But this is not considered wise or economical
  • That is because the rockets need to be extraordinarily powerful to carry the spacecraft all the way to Moon. An enormous amount of fuel too is required. Taking a longer route, however, makes it much easier for the spacecraft to travel.
  • The rocket has to take the spacecraft only about 200 km from the Earth’s surface and deposit it in Low-Earth Orbit. Thereafter, the spacecraft moves around the Earth under the influence of gravity. This stable position is also a good time for ground controllers to check on the health of the equipment on board.
  • While circling the Earth, a substantially lower amount of energy is required to propel the spacecraft into higher orbits due to reduction in atmospheric drag. This is easily possible with a small amount of fuel onboard. With each higher orbit, however, the gain in energy is enormous, enabling the spacecraft to achieve great velocities, and the power to move much deeper into space.

Lunar Gravity & Velocity 

  • Chandrayaan-2, after coming under the influence of lunar gravity on Monday, had begun to accelerate. At one point, it had reached a velocity of 2.4 km per second (8,640 km per hour). This is just about equal to the escape velocity of the Moon. If Chandrayaan-2 had been allowed to speed up unrestrained, it would have escaped the Moon’s gravity and moved away.
  • To keep it in the lunar orbit, therefore, its velocity was brought down to 2.1 km per second (7,560 km per hour).
  • Spacecraft increase or decrease their velocities by firing on-board thrusters. To speed up, the thrusters are fired in a direction opposite to the motion of the spacecraft. It has an effect similar to the recoil that a gun experiences after firing. Velocity can be reduced if the thrusters are fired in the direction of motion.

4 . XDR TB

What is XDR-TB

  • XDR-TB, an abbreviation for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), is a form of TB which is resistant to at least four of the core anti-TB drugs.
  • XDR-TB involves resistance to the two most powerful anti-TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin, also known as multidrug-resistance (MDR-TB), in addition to resistance to any of the fluoroquinolones (such as levofloxacin or moxifloxacin) and to at least one of the three injectable second-line drugs (amikacin, capreomycin or kanamycin).
  • MDR-TB and XDR-TB both take substantially longer to treat than ordinary (drug-susceptible) TB, and require the use of second-line anti-TB drugs, which are more expensive and have more side-effects than the first-line drugs used for drug-susceptible TB.

How do people get XDR-TB?

  • People may get XDR-TB in one of two ways.
    • It may develop in a patient who is receiving treatment for active TB, when anti-TB drugs are misused or mismanaged, and is usually a sign of inadequate clinical care or drug management. It can happen when patients are not properly supported to complete their full course of treatment; when health-care providers prescribe the wrong treatment, or the wrong dose, or for too short a period of time; when the supply of drugs to the clinics dispensing drugs is erratic; or when the drugs are of poor quality.
    • The second way that people can develop XDR-TB is by becoming infected from a patient who is already ill with the condition. Patients with TB of the lungs can spread the disease by coughing, sneezing, or simply talking. A person needs only to breathe in a small number of these germs to become infected. However only a small proportion of people infected with TB germs develop the disease. A person can be infected by XDR-TB bacteria but not develop the active disease, just as with drug-susceptible TB.

Indian Scenario

  • Cases of XDR TB are much fewer than those of the other drug-resistant strain, MDR/RR TB, and have been reported from 117 countries until 2017, a World Health Organization (WHO) report said. Out of 10,800 cases worldwide, India accounted for 2,650 cases, or almost one-fourth.
  • As per WHO, two-thirds of cases of the XDR-strain are in China, India and Russia. These countries also share 47 per cent of the burden for MDR/RR TB. The average success rates for drugs to treat the XDR strain has been 34 percent globally.

5 . QR Code for Haryana Building

Context : Haryana government is all set to implement an ambitious project of installing an 18-digit Quick Response (QR) code carrying metal plates outside all built-up structures across the state.

About QR code for Buildings

  • The main aim of implemnting QR code is to streamline property-tax collection.
  • The metal plates to be affixed to the buildings will contain a Unique Property Identification and QR code (Digital Door Number). Each QR code will have accurate plot area measurement, floors constructed at the time of survey using both base map service and on-ground field measurements.
  • The system will result in enhancing the property based tax revenues manifold. It will increase funds for the Urban Local Bodies for future development through a real-time property tax collection mechanism.
  • Geo-tagged property data will be helpful for planning and day-to-day developmental work. In case of any alteration of the building/ structure, the QR code will also enable residents for faster building approvals and Change of Land Use,
  • The government has already begun a drone-based Geographic Information Survey (GIS) to analyse all residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and vacant properties in the state.


  • With the GIS mapping and QR code generation, any alteration in the property, be it structural or ownership will get reflected in records.
  • Not only tax collection, but digitised records are made, it will enable government to link other government schemes and transfer of benefits to citizens using the same QR codes.”

Leave a comment

error: Content is protected !! Copying and sharing on Social media / websites will invite legal action