Daily Current Affairs 23rd July

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. NEXT
  2. Gharial
  3. Types of Orbit
  4. Next Generation Sequencing Facility
  5. Facts for Prelims : Jatan, Chandrayaan 3, Bhabha Kavach

1 . NEXT

Context : The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 provides for the setting up of a medical commission in place of the Medical Council of India (MCI) and repeal of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

About NEXT

  • National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 provides for a common final year MBBS examination to be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) would serve as licentiate examination, for entrance to PG medical courses and as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.
  • In short final year MBBS exam as an entrance test for Post Graduation (PG) courses in the same field. This test will be a screening test for students got graduation degree in medicine from foreign countries.
  • The Bill also provides that the national entrance test, NEET, common counselling and NEXT shall also be applicable to institutes of national importance like AIIMS

2 . Gharial

Context : Odisha has renewed its effort to revive the population of gharials, a “critically endangered” species of crocodile, in their natural habitat by releasing five reptiles into the Satkosia gorge of Mahanadi — the southernmost limit of gharials’ home range in India.

About Gharial

  • Gharials are a type of Asian crocodilian distinguished by their long, thin snouts. Male gharials sport a large growth on their snout called a ghara, the Hindi word for “pot.
  • Gharials do not stalk and lunge at prey like other crocodilians—their snouts contain sensory cells that can detect vibrations in the water.
  • Historically, gharial were found in the river system of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and southern part of Bhutan and Nepal. Today they survive only in the waters of India and Nepal.
  • The surviving population can be found within the tributaries of the Ganges river system: Girwa (Uttar Pradesh), Son (Madhya Pradesh), Ramganga (Uttarakhand), Gandak (Bihar), Chambal (Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan) and Mahanadi (Orissa).
  • Odisha is the only State in India having all three species — gharial, mugger and saltwater crocodile. The State forest department began conservation of these crocodile species in 1975 by establishing three rearing centres — Tikarpada for gharials in Angul district, Ramatirtha for muggers in Mayurbhanj and Bhitarkanika for saltwater crocodiles in Kendrapara district.
  • IUCN Red list Status : Critically Endangered

3 . Types of Orbit

Geosynchronous Orbits

  • A geosynchronous orbit (GEO) is a prograde, low inclination orbit about Earth having a period of 23 hours 56 minutes 4 seconds. A spacecraft in geosynchronous orbit appears to remain above Earth at a constant longitude, although it may seem to wander north and south. The spacecraft returns to the same point in the sky at the same time each day.

Geo Stationary Orbits

  • A geostationary orbit, often referred to as a GEO orbit, circles the Earth above the equator from west to east at a height of 36 000 km. As it follows the Earth’s rotation, which takes 23 hours 56 minutes and 4 seconds, satellites in a GEO orbit appear to be ‘stationary’ over a fixed position. Their speed is about 3 km per second.
  • As satellites in geostationary orbit continuously cover a large portion of the Earth, this makes it an ideal orbit for telecommunications or for monitoring continent-wide weather patterns and environmental conditions. It also decreases costs as ground stations do not need to track the satellite. A constellation of three equally spaced satellites can provide full coverage of the Earth, except for the polar regions.

Geostationary transfer orbit

  • This is an elliptical Earth orbit used to transfer a spacecraft from a low altitude orbit or flight trajectory to geostationary orbit. The apogee is at 36 000 km. When a spacecraft reaches this point, its apogee kick motor is fired to inject it into geostationary orbit.

Low Earth orbits

  • A low Earth orbit is normally at an altitude of less than 1000 km and could be as low as 160 km above the Earth. Satellites in this circular orbit travel at a speed of around 7.8 km per second. At this speed, a satellite takes approximately 90 minutes to circle the Earth.
  • In general, these orbits are used for remote sensing, military purposes and for human spaceflight as they offer close proximity to the Earth’s surface for imaging and the short orbital periods allow for rapid revisits. The International Space Station is in low Earth orbit.

Medium low Earth orbit

  • This orbit takes place at an altitude of around 1000 km and is particularly suited for constellations of satellites mainly used for telecommunications. A satellite in this orbit travels at approximately 7.3 km per second.

Polar orbits

  • As the name suggests, polar orbits pass over the Earth’s polar regions from north to south. The orbital track of the satellite does not have to cross the poles exactly for an orbit to be called polar, an orbit which passes within 20 to 30 degrees of the poles is still classed as a polar orbit.
  • These orbits mainly take place at low altitudes of between 200 to 1000 km. Satellites in polar orbit look down on the Earth’s entire surface and can pass over the North and South Poles several times a day.
  • Polar orbits are used for reconnaissance and Earth observation. If a satellite is in polar orbit at an altitude of 800 km, it will be travelling at a speed of approximately 7.5 km per second.

Sun synchronous orbits

  • These are polar orbits which are synchronous with the Sun. A satellite in a sun synchronous orbit would usually be at an altitude of between 600 to 800 km. Generally these orbits are used for Earth observation, solar study, weather forecasting and reconnaissance, as ground observation is improved if the surface is always illuminated by the Sun at the same angle when viewed from the satellite.

4 . Next Generation Sequencing Facility

Context : Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the Next Generation Sequencing (NSG) facility at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad

About Next Generation Sequencing Facility

  • Next-generation sequencing (NGS), also known as high-throughput sequencing, is the catch-all term used to describe a number of different modern sequencing technologies.
  • These technologies allow for sequencing of DNA and RNA much more quickly and cheaply than the previously used Sanger sequencing, and as such revolutionised the study of genomics and molecular biology. Such technologies include:
    • Illumina (Solexa) sequencing : Illumina sequencing works by simultaneously identifying DNA bases, as each base emits a unique fluorescent signal, and adding them to a nucleic acid chain.
    • Roche 454 sequencing : This method is based on pyrosequencing, a technique which detects pyrophosphate release, again using fluorescence, after nucleotides are incorporated by polymerase to a new strand of DNA.
    • Ion Torrent: Proton / PGM sequencing :
  • Ion Torrent sequencing measures the direct release of H+ (protons) from the incorporation of individual bases by DNA polymerase and therefore differs from the previous two methods as it does not measure light.

Benefits of the Indian facility

  • The facility includes technology for high genome sequencing and also diagnostic sequencing of clinical samples. The state of art machine, acquired at a cost of Rs. 8 crore can sequence 18,000 samples in 8 minutes.
  • It would help in prenatal genetic screening and counselling, thereby generating large scale genomic data critical for diagnosis and therapy. 

5 . Facts for Prelims

Bhabha Kavach

  • Bhabha Kavach, billed is India’s lightest bullet-proof jacket
  • It is developed jointly by the Ordnance Factories Board and the public sector metals and metal alloys manufacturer MIDHANI, can withstand bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle (7.62 mm hard steel core bullets), and the 5.56 mm INSAS rifle
  • The Kavach weighs 9.2 kg, a half kilogram less than the weight for a bullet-proof jacket prescribed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)


  • HCDC Group, C-DAC Pune has designed and developed JATAN: Virtual Museum Builder, which is a digital collection management system for Indian museums.
  • It is a client server application with features such as image cropping, watermarking, unique numbering, management of digital objects with multimedia representations, Dublin core metadata compliance, collaborative framework for museum curators and historians, search and retrieval, access control for the portal, user administration, conservation reports, 3D virtual galleries and public access through web, mobile or touch screen kiosks.
  • JATAN software is successfully deployed in ten national museums across India, as standardized by Ministry of Culture, Government of India. 

Chandrayaan 3

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has initiated talks on the nation’s third moon shot in partnership with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as indications show.  
  • Chandrayaan-3, which is scheduled to make a sample return mission in 2023-2024

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