Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
- Molecular Motor
- MDR and XDR TB
- Water Body Census
- Financial Stability Development Council
- Process of Granting ST Status
- Regulation for misleading food ads
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
Context: The food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first vaccine — Arexvy — for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) to lower respiratory tract disease in people older than 60 years. This is the first RSV vaccine to be approved anywhere in the world.
Respiratory syncytial Virus
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), also called human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) and human ortho pneumovirus, is a common, contagious virus that causes infections of the respiratory tract.
- Symptoms – It is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.
- RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age
- Vulnerability– RSV can cause severe infection in some people, including babies 12 months and younger (infants), especially premature infants, older adults, people with heart and lung disease, or anyone with a weak immune system (immunocompromised).
- RSV can cause outbreaks both in the community and in hospital settings. Following initial infection via the eyes or nose, the virus infects the epithelial cells of the upper and lower airway, causing inflammation, cell damage, and airway obstruction. A variety of methods are available for viral detection and diagnosis of RSV including antigen testing, molecular testing, and viral culture.
- Preventive measures and Treatment – The main prevention measures include handwashing and avoiding close contact with infected individuals. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first RSV vaccine, Arexvy (developed by GSK plc), for adults aged 60 and older. The prophylactic use of palivizumab or nirsevimab can prevent RSV infection in high-risk infants.
- Comorbidities– According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, lower respiratory tract disease caused by the RSV virus leads to approximately 60,000-1,20,000 hospitalisations and 6,000-10,000 deaths among adults who are 65 years of age and older. The RSV virus significantly affects older adults with comorbidities. Like the common cold, the RSV usually causes mild symptoms but can turn deadly if it infects older people.
- Vaccine Development- The vaccine is manufactured by the company, GSK, and the FDA approval was based on a phase-3 trial carried out on nearly 25,000 participants. About 12,500 participants received one dose of the vaccine, while the remaining participants received a placebo.
- The trail showed that a single dose of the vaccine reduced the risk of people, older than 60 years, developing lower respiratory tract disease caused by the RSV virus by 82.6% and reduced the risk of developing severe disease by 94.1%.
- Development of the vaccine was spurred on by a closer analysis of the protein that RSV uses to fuse with and infect cells, and antibodies could be made from this. A similar technique was also used to develop COVID vaccines in recent years.
- Two more vaccines for RSV by Pfizer and Moderna have already completed clinical trials on adults older than 60 years and may soon be approved by the FDA. While the vaccine developed by Pfizer is protein-based, Moderna has used mRNA technology, like in the case of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, to develop the RSV vaccine.
2 . Molecular Motor
Context: An international team of researchers, including from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru, has reported a new kind of molecular motor.
What is Molecular Motor?
- Each cell in the body is a complex soup of electrochemical reactions that produce energy, but they are not enough. Cells also need to move things, such as pull two organelles together, move cargo towards and away from the nucleus, and power the movement of subcellular molecules. Many of these actions are driven by molecular motors, which use biochemical energy to do mechanical work.
About the findings of the new study
- In a 2016 paper, researchers from Australia and Germany reported that when an enzyme called Rab5 binds to a long protein called EEA1, the protein loses its taut and rigid shape and becomes floppy. This ‘collapse’ pulls two membranes inside a cell closer to each other.
- In the new study, researchers have reported that EEA1 regains its rigid shape in another mechanism so that it can become floppy again to pull the membranes closer, creating a new kind of two-part molecular motor.
- When the 2016 paper was published, it was unclear whether EEA1 could resume its rigid shape, so that the whole process could repeat itself without the help of other proteins.
- The researchers reasoned that it had to resume its stiffer shape because EEA1 works on thousands of membranes, and creating a molecule as big as the protein for every membrane pair would be wasteful. At more than 200 nm, EEA is more than 100x longer than typical proteins.
How EEA1-like molecules go back to their elongated conformation?
- The researchers of the latest study reported thatEEA1 draws energy from a reaction called GTP hydrolysis to become rigid again. The GTP hydrolysis is mediated by enzymes called GTPases. Rab5 is one such.
- Due to the ubiquitous pairing of small GTPases with such long molecules in eukaryotic cells will mark a new class of molecular machines that operate as motors in a unique way and with novel collective effects.
What are the novelties in the findings?
- The study has reported several novelties in its findings.
- This study opens the door to previously unanticipated cellular processes.
- This study throws light on membrane fusion by EEA1.
- The motor does not produce a lever-like back-and-forth action, as most motors do, but allows a molecule to change its flexibility between two states. Also, most molecular motors get their energy from another molecule called ATP, whereas the Rab5-EEA1 motor uses GTP.
- EEA1 can have one of several trillion shapes when it is floppy, but it can have only one (rod-like) shape when it is stiff. The floppy state has more entropy and is “entropically favoured”. So, when it goes from stiff to floppy, it exerts an entropic force on the membranes that it pulls.
- Applications– It had a potential application in biology and medicine. It also provides a general mechanism applicable for many such mechanochemical proteins or assemblies which harness the chemical energy of nucleotide hydrolysis for mechanical work in the cell
3 . MDR and XDR TB
Context: Tuberculosis (TB) is a treatable disease, but drug resistance is now a major public health concern exacerbated by the emergence of multi and extensively drug-resistant TB. India has the highest burden of Multi-Drug Resistant-TB (MDR-TB) bacteria with the World Health Organisation (WHO) putting the figure at 0.39 million cases worldwide and highlighting the need to stop its spread.
About the findings of the study
- A group of scientists led by CSIR-Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) director in a new study, established that mutations in DNA repair genes could be used for the early diagnosis of MDR/XDR-TB.
- The researchers had for the first time identified a ‘compromised DNA repair’ as one of the novel mechanisms for the evolution of drug resistance in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (Mtb) which causes Tuberculosis (TB) in humans.
- Since the evolution of drug resistance in the Indian population has not been studied, scientists started analysing the genome sequence of bacteria isolated from TB patients from other parts of the world to understand the unknown mechanisms and bridge the gap between early diagnosis and treatment of MDR-TB.
- The study identified that DNA repair, a process that guards the genome of bacteria, was found to be perturbed exclusively in the MDR/XDR strains
- Significance of the study- The study found that early detection would help clinicians to develop better drug regimens to thwart the progression of MDR/XDR-TB in the population. It would not only help decrease the burden of MDR/XDR in the infected population but also help decrease the spread of drug-resistant TB.
- About Tuberculosis- Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that most often affects the lungs and is caused by a type of bacteria. It spreads through the air when infected people cough, sneeze or spit. Tuberculosis is preventable and curable. Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.
- What is Drug-resistant TB? Drug-resistant TB (DR TB) is spread the same way that drug-susceptible TB is spread. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
- Causes of drug resistant TB – Drug-resistant TB can occur when the drugs used to treat TB are misused or mismanaged.
Types of Drug Resistant TB
Multidrug-Resistant TB (MDR TB)
- Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) is caused by TB bacteria that are resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampin, the two most potent TB drugs. These drugs are used to treat all persons with TB disease.
- TB experts should be consulted in the treatment of MDR TB
Pre-Extensively Drug-resistant TB (pre-XDR TB)
- Pre-Extensively Drug-resistant TB (pre-XDR TB) is a type of MDR TB caused by TB bacteria that are resistant to isoniazid, rifampin, and a fluroquinolone OR by TB bacteria that are resistant to isoniazid, rifampin, and a second-line injectable (amikacin, capreomycin, and kanamycin).
Extensively Drug-resistant TB (XDR TB)
- Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR TB) is a rare type of MDR TB caused by TB bacteria that are resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, a fluroquinolone, and a second-line injectable (amikacin, capreomycin, and kanamycin) OR by TB bacteria that are resistant to isoniazid, rifampin, a fluroquinolone, and bedaquiline or linezolid.
- Because XDR TB is resistant to the most potent TB drugs, patients are left with treatment options that are much less effective.
- XDR TB is of special concern for people with HIV infection or other conditions that can weaken the immune system. These people are more likely to develop TB disease once they are infected, and also have a higher risk of death once they develop TB.
4 . Water Body Census
Context: India is facing a water crisis with groundwater decline and biodiversity loss, and climate change increasing the frequency of floods and droughts. In this context, water bodies are important. The Jal Shakti ministry has released the report of India’s first water bodies census, which provides a comprehensive database of ponds, tanks, lakes and reservoirs in the country.
What are Water Bodies?
- Indias’s first Water Bodies Census defines water bodies as all natural or man-made units bounded on all sides with some or no masonry work used for storing water for irrigation or other purposes (e.g. industrial, pisciculture, domestic/drinking, recreation, religious, ground water recharge etc.) will be treated as water bodies in this Census.
- A structure where water from ice-melt, streams, springs, rain or drainage of water from residential or other areas is accumulated or water is stored by diversion from a stream, nala or river will also be treated as water body.
What are the significance of the water bodies?
- Water Bodies acts as a buffer against climate variability, holding flood waters for use in dry periods. They contribute to food and water security and livelihoods by recharging groundwater and providing water for irrigation and livestock. They also have cultural and ecological significance. But water bodies are increasingly under threat from pollution, encroachment, urbanisation, and drying
How was the census conducted?
- The census was conducted in 2018-19 and enumerated more than 2.4 million water bodies across all states and Union Territories.
- The objective of the Census of Water Bodies is to develop a national database for all water bodies by collecting information on all important aspects of the subject including their size, condition, status of encroachments, use, storage capacity, status of filling up of storage etc.
- It covered all natural and human-made units bounded on all sides for storing water, irrespective of condition or use.
- The software for data entry and the mobile app for capturing the location and the visual of the water bodies were developed and data-processing workshops were conducted to train the trainers in all States and Union territories.
- The census built on existing and publicly available satellite-derived datasets. This dataset was also extremely rich, allowing citizens to home in on a specific village and download the historical time series data on each water body. But it only includes attributes that can be observed from space.
- The water body census extends this to social characteristics including ownership, use and condition.
What does the data show?
- Water Body census allows us to compare spatial and temporal trends across the country. The findings of the study include
- Most water bodies in the country are very small – The vast majority of India’s water bodies are less than one hectare (ha) large. This means locating and keeping track of them is likely to remain a challenge. The traditional way to map these water bodies, using satellites, may not work, which is why the mammoth effort expended in ground-based tracking is very welcome.
- The water bodies show regional patterns that correlate with rainfall – In general, in drier states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, water bodies tend to be larger and publicly held. In the wetter parts of the country, like Kerala, West Bengal, and states in the northeast, more than three-quarters of the water bodies are privately owned. In drier states, the water bodies are primarily used for irrigation and groundwater recharge. In wetter states, domestic use and pisciculture dominate. Mid-sized water bodies are largely panchayat-owned.
- Most water bodies have never been repaired or rejuvenated – Several water bodies were classified “not in use”, meaning despite the recent interest in rejuvenating water bodies, most of them have never been repaired or revived.
How can the census improve?
- Water bodies have an important role in supporting biodiversity. They harbour fish that birds feed on and provide roosting and breeding spaces for resident and migratory birds. These ecological functions are related to the size and location of the water bodies. But the water body census does not address questions about this.
- The report itself noted in its preamble that water bodies “support healthy ecosystems”, yet the focus was exclusively on human use, which means only pisciculture or fish farming, which is seeded and does not reflect natural biodiversity, is featured.
- In classifying water bodies in terms of reasons of abandonment or disuse, “others” emerged as a significant reason, on par with “drying up” in a few states, but far ahead of other specific categories such as industrial pollution, construction, and salinity. One possibility is that the census questionnaire may have left out the most common reasons like eutrophication, sewage pollution, and solid waste dumping.
- This census groups water bodies into five types: ponds, tanks, lakes, reservoirs, and water conservation schemes. Its glossary defines a pond as a smaller water body than a tank, while “water conservation structures” might include check dams and percolation tanks. However, these categories are not mutually exclusive: many tanks that were traditionally used directly for irrigation primarily serve as recharge structures today
- The data are not standardised across states. Some states like Gujarat don’t show any water bodies not being in use, whereas Karnataka reports almost 80% of its water bodies as being in a state of disuse. This suggests differences in interpretation by the enumerators.
- There are some other concerns. For example, the map for north Karnataka seems suspiciously empty.
What is the significance of the census?
- The first edition of water body census provides high-level indications on the ways forward by detailing ownership, state of use, and the costs of construction and repair.
- It points to how and why water bodies must be restored, which agency’s capacities need to be strengthened, where and how much funds are needed, and who will benefit from such efforts.
- If such censuses are conducted every five or 10 years, over time, they represent the pulse on the state of water in the country as a whole and trends over time.
5 . Financial Stability Development Council
Context: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked financial sector regulators to be on their toes to ensure that the “daunting challenges” emerging from the global economy don’t affect the stability of India’s financial markets.
About the News
- Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), which includes all regulators was chaired by the Union Finance Minister. During the meeting, Union Finance Minister advised that
- Regulators should maintain a constant vigil as ensuring ‘financial sector stability is a shared responsibility’ of the regulators.
- Regulators should adopt a focused approach to reduce the compliance burden further and ensure a streamlined and efficient regulatory environment.
- The regulators need to be proactive and ensure cyber-security preparedness of the information technology systems to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks, protect sensitive financial data, and maintain overall system integrity, thus safeguarding the stability and resilience of the Indian financial ecosystem.
- Regulators should conduct a special drive to facilitate the settlement of unclaimed deposits and claims in the financial sector across all segments, such as banking deposits, shares and dividends, mutual funds, insurance, etc.
Financial Stability Development Council
- Background- Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) is an apex-level body constituted by the government of India. The idea to create such a super regulatory body was first mooted by the Raghuram Rajan Committee in 2008. Finally in 2010, the then Finance Minister of India, Pranab Mukherjee, decided to set up such an autonomous body dealing with macro prudential and financial regularities in the entire financial sector of India. An apex-level FSDC is not a statutory body
- Role– Without prejudice to the autonomy of regulators, the Council monitors macro prudential supervision of the economy, including functioning of large financial conglomerates, and addresses inter-regulatory coordination and financial sector development issues.
- Structure– The Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and its members are Governor, Reserve Bank of India; Finance Secretary and/or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs; Secretary, Department of Financial Services; Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance; Chairman, Securities and Exchange Board of India; Chairman, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
- Responsibilities– FSDC was formed to bring greater coordination among financial market regulators. The Council deals, inter-alia, with issues relating to financial stability, financial sector development, inter–regulatory coordination, financial literacy, financial inclusion and macro prudential supervision of the economy including the functioning of large financial conglomerates. No funds are separately allocated to the Council for undertaking its activities.
6 . Process of Granting ST Status
Context: As Manipur and Central governments claimed the State is returning to normalcy, Chief Justice of India Chandrachud orally said a High Court does not have the power to direct changes in the Scheduled Tribes List.
- Skirmishes broke out in the state capital Imphal after thousands of people from the Naga and Kuki tribes took part in a rally against the majority Meitei ethnic group being afforded special status under India’s “Scheduled Tribe” grouping.
- Violent clashes and deaths followed in the days after a Single Judge Bench of the Manipur High Court, directed that the State government “shall consider the case of the petitioners for inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
- Following this, Chief Justice Chandrachud orally said a High Court does not have the power to direct changes in the Scheduled Tribes List. “It is a Presidential power to designate a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe,” the Chief Justice observed.
About the Process of Granting ST status
Who are Scheduled Tribes?
- The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness on account of the primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation.
- The Constitution of India in Article 366 (25) prescribe that the Scheduled Tribes means such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 of the Constitution to be Scheduled Tribes.
Constitutional provisions related to Scheduled Tribes
- The President may, with respect to any State or Union territory, and where it is a state, after consultation with the Governor there of by public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which shall, for the purposes of this constitution, is deemed to be scheduled tribes in relation to that state or Union Territory, as the case may be.
- Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled tribes specified in a notification issued under clause(1) any tribe or tribal community or part of or group within any tribe or tribal community, but save as aforesaid, a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification.
- Thus, the first specification of Scheduled Tribes in relation to a particular State/ Union Territory is by a notified order of the President, after consultation with the State governments concerned. These orders can be modified subsequently only through an Act of Parliament. The above Article also provides for listing of scheduled tribes State/Union Territory wise and not on an all India basis.
- The criterion followed for specification of a community, as scheduled tribes are indications of
- Primitive traits,
- Distinctive culture,
- Geographical isolation,
- Shyness of contact with the community at large, and
- This criterion is not spelt out in the Constitution but has become well established.
- The list of Scheduled Tribes is State/UT specific and a community declared as a Scheduled Tribe in a State need not be so in another State. The inclusion of a community as a Scheduled Tribe is an ongoing process.
- While some tribal communities have adopted a mainstream way of life, at the other end of the spectrum, there are certain Scheduled Tribes, 75 in number known as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), who are characterised by
- pre-agriculture level of technology
- stagnant or declining population
- extremely low literacy
- subsistence level of economy
How is a community added or removed from SC, ST lists?
- The process begins at the level of a State or Union Territory, with the concerned government or administration seeking the addition or exclusion of a particular community from the SC or ST list.
- The final decision rests with the President’s office issuing a notification specifying the changes under powers vested in it from Articles 341 and 342.
- The inclusion or exclusion of any community in the Scheduled Tribes or Scheduled Castes list come into effect only after the President assents to a Bill that amends the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950, as is appropriate, after it is passed by both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
- A State government may choose to recommend certain communities for addition or subtraction from the list of SCs/STs based on its discretion.
- Following this, the proposal to include or remove any community from the Scheduled List is sent to the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs from the concerned State government.
- After this, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, through its own deliberations, examines the proposal, and sends it to the Registrar General of India (RGI).
- Once approved by the RGI, the proposal is sent to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes or National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, following which the proposal is sent back to the Union government, which after inter-ministerial deliberations, introduces it in the Cabinet for final approval. Thereafter the matter is put up before the Parliament in the form of a bill to amend the Presidential Order.
- Claims for inclusion, exclusion or other modifications that neither the RGI nor the concerned State Governments have supported would not be referred to the National Commission. These would be rejected at the level of the Ministry for Social Justice & Empowerment.
How many Scheduled Tribes are there officially?
- There are over 700 tribes (with overlapping communities in more than one State) which have been notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country.
- The largest number of main tribal communities (62) has been specified in relation to the State of Orissa. The Scheduled Tribes have been specified in relation to all the States and Union Territories except Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Pondicherry.
7 . Regulation for misleading food ads
Context: The Advertisement Monitoring Committee at the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) flagged 32 fresh cases of food business operators (FBOs) making misleading claims and advertisements. They were found to be in contravention of the Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018.
What is a Misleading Advertisement?
- Any advertisement or promotion through Television, Radio, or any other electronic media, Newspapers, Banners, Posters, Handbills, wall-writing etc. to misrepresent the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities so as to mislead the consumer could be broadly defined as a misleading advertisement.
What are the regulations for tackling misleading ads and claims?
- There are varied regulations to combat misleading advertisements and claims, some are broad, while others are product specific.
- FSSAI uses the Food Safety and Standards (Advertisements & Claims) Regulations, 2018 which specifically deal with food (and related products)
- Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)’s regulations cover goods, products and services.
- Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 stipulate that advertisements must not draw inferences that it has “some special or miraculous or supernatural property or quality, which is difficult of being proved.”
- FSSAI seeks that the advertisements and claims be “truthful, unambiguous, meaningful, not misleading and help consumers to comprehend the information provided”.
- Claims must be scientifically substantiated by validated methods of characterizing or quantifying the ingredient or substance that is the basis for the claim.
- Product claims suggesting suitability for prevention, alleviation, treatment or cure of a disease, disorder or particular psychological condition is prohibited unless specifically permitted under the regulations of the FSS Act, 2006.
- Making deceptive claims or advertisements are punishable offences under Section-53 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
8 . Facts for prelims
- Foreign exchange reserves are cash and other reserve assets such as gold held by a central bank or other monetary authority that are primarily available to balance payments of the country, influence the foreign exchange rate of its currency, and to maintain confidence in financial markets.
- Foreign exchange reserves are maintained as a multi-currency portfolio comprising major currencies such as the US dollar, Euro, Pound sterling, and Japanese yen, among others, but are valued in terms of US dollars
- Objectives of Foreign Exchange Reserve Management
- supporting and maintaining confidence in the national monetary and exchange rate management policies,
- limiting external vulnerability to shocks during times of crisis or when access to borrowing is curtailed, and in doing so –
- providing a level of confidence to markets,
- demonstrating backing for the domestic currency,
- assisting the government to meet its foreign exchange needs and external debt obligations, and
- maintaining a reserve for potential national disasters or emergencies.
- Composition-Bank of India Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act, of 1999 set the legal provisions for governing foreign exchange reserves. Reserve Bank of India accumulates foreign currency reserves by purchasing from authorized dealers in open market operations. Foreign exchange reserves of India act as a cushion against rupee volatility once global interest rates start rising
- India’s foreign exchange reserves includes
- Foreign Currency Assets (FCA)
- Gold Reserves
- SDRs (Special Drawing Rights with the IMF)
- Reserve tranche Position in the IMF
Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology
- The Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT), which works under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Education, is rushing to create technical and scientific terminology in 10 Indian languages underrepresented in the learning landscape.
- Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology was established on October 01, 1961 in pursuance of a Presidential Order dated April 27, 1960 with the objective to evolve technical terminology in all Indian Languages.
- The Commission was established under clause 4 of Article 344 of the Constitution of India as a follow up of recommendations of a committee in this regard.
- Functions- The main function of the Commission is to evolve standard terminology, propagate its use and distribute it widely.
- In the process of evolution of scientific and technical terminology and reference material in Hindi and Indian Languages, the Commission shall have collaboration of State Governments, Universities, Regional Text-Book Boards and State Granth Academies.
- Other functions- CSTT has also taken care of Administrative and various Departmental Glossaries that are widely used by various Government Departments, Institutions, Research Laboratories, Autonomous Organization, PSUs etc.
- CSTT regularly organizes workshops, seminars, symposium, conferences, orientation and training programmes to increase the use and popularize the standard terminology of Hindi and other Indian languages.
Space Science and Technology Awareness Training (START)
- ISRO has launched a new introductory-level online training programme called ‘Space Science and Technology Awareness Training (START)’ aimed at post-graduate and final-year undergraduate students of physical sciences and technology.
- The programme will cover various domains of space science, including Astronomy & Astrophysics, Heliophysics & Sun-Earth interaction, Instrumentation, and Aeronomy. It will be delivered by the scientists from Indian academia and ISRO centres.
- The START programme is part of ISRO’s efforts to enable Indian students to become professionals in space science and technology
- The programme is intended to provide students with an introductory-level training in space science and technology, giving them an overview of different facets of the field, research opportunities, and career options.
- The training will also emphasize the cross-disciplinary nature of space science, giving students insights into how their individual aptitudes can be applied to the field.
- The programme is expected to help build a human capacity that will lead space science and research in the future.
- The Territorial Army (TA) is a military unit of India. It is an auxiliary military organisation of part-time volunteers that provides support services to the Indian Army. It is composed of officers, junior commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers and other personnel holding ranks the same as in the Indian Army, who also have civilian occupations.
- The role of the TA is to “relieve the regular army from static duties and assist civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services”, and to “provide units for the regular army as and when required”.
- The TA was constituted by the Territorial Army Act of 1948 in the Dominion of India as a successor to the Indian Defence Force (1917–1920) and the Indian Territorial Force (1920–1948). It is commanded by a three-star ranking Director General of the Territorial Army—a Lieutenant General-ranking officer deputed from the Indian Army—and headed by the Chief of Defence Staff under the Department of Military Affairs of the Ministry of Defence.
- The TA has two units—a departmental unit consisting of Public sector undertakings in India (PSU) and Indian Railway employees, and ex-servicemen; and a non-departmental unit consisting of privately employed citizens.
- The Territorial Army initially had various types of units such as Armed Regt (TA), Infantry Battalion (TA), Air Defence (TA), Med Regt (TA), Engineers Field Park Coy (TA), Signal Regiment (TA), EME Workshop (TA), Coast Battery (TA), ASC GT Coy (TA), ASC Compo Pl (TA), AMC Field Ambulance (TA), by 1972 these units have either been disbanded or converted to Regular Army except Inf Bn (TA).