PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- Prerak Dauur Samman
- Bharat App innovation Challenge
- Magnetic hyperthermia-mediated cancer therapy (MHCT).
- Dhanvantri Rath
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Prerak Dauur Samman
Context : A new category of awards titled ‘Prerak Dauur Samman is institutes as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021.
About Prerak Dauur Samman
- The Prerak Dauur Samman has a total of five additional sub- categories -Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) – with top three cities being recognized in each.
- In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows:
- Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories
- Processing capacity against wet waste generated
- Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste
- Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing
- Percentage of waste going to landfills
- Sanitation status of cities
About Swachh Survekshan Survey
- The objective of the Swachh Survekshan (SS) survey, which is conducted by an independent third party, is to encourage large scale citizen participation, ensure sustainability of initiatives taken towards garbage free and open defecation free cities, provide credible outcomes validated by third party certification, institutionalize existing systems through online processes and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in.
- Additionally, the survey also intends to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities.
- As a prelude to encouraging cities to improve urban sanitation, MoHUA had conducted Swachh Survekshan 2016 survey for the rating of 73 cities in January 2016, followed by Swachh Survekshan 2017 conducted in January-February 2017 ranking 434 cities. Swachh Survekshan 2018, which became the world’s largest cleanliness survey, ranked 4203 cities followed by Swachh Survekshan 2019 which not only covered 4237 cities but was also the first of its kind completely digital survey completed in a record time of 28 days. Swachh Survekshan 2020 continued the momentum and saw an unprecedented participation of 1.87 crore citizens. Going a step forward, to ensure sustainability of on-ground performance of cities, the Ministry has also introduced Swachh Survekshan League last year, a quarterly cleanliness assessment of cities and towns to be done in three quarters and 25% weightage integrated into the final Swachh Survekshan results.
2 . Bharat App innovation Challenge
Context : With an objective to support and build a strong ecosystem for Indian Apps, MeitY in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission – Niti Aayog launches Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge for Indian tech entrepreneurs and Startups.
Details of the Challenge
- Challenge is to help realise the vision of Prime Minister for building a Digital India and using Digital Technologies for building an AatmaNirbhar Bharat.
- This shall run in 2 tracks: Promotion of Existing Apps and Development of New Apps.
- The focus of the Track 1 App Innovation Challenge, being launched today is to identify the best Indian Apps that are already being used by citizens and have the potential to scale and become world class Apps in their respective categories.
- This Innovation Challenge with various cash awards and incentives of featuring Apps on Leader Boards seeks to create an ecosystem where Indian entrepreneurs and Startups are incentivised to ideate, incubate, build, nurture and sustain Tech solutions that can serve not only citizens within India but also the world.
- The Mantra is to Make in India for India and the World. This shall be completed in a month.
The AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge Track 1 is being launched in the following 8 broad categories:
- Office Productivity & Work from Home
- Social Networking
- Health & Wellness
- Business including Agritech and Fin-tech
- Subsequent to this App Innovation Challenge, Government will also launch Track 2 of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge that will seek to identify Indian start ups / entrepreneurs /companies and encourage them with ideation, incubation, prototyping and roll out of applications. This track will run for a longer course of a time, details of which shall be provided separately.
Selection of Apps
- A specific Jury for each track with experts from Private Sector & Academia will evaluate the entries received. Shortlisted Apps will be given awards & will also feature on Leader boards for information of citizens. Government will also adopt suitable Apps, guide them to maturity and list on Government e-Marketplace (GeM).
3 . Magnetic hyperthermia-mediated cancer therapy (MHCT).
Context : Stevioside (STE), isolated from the leaves of Honey yerba and widely used as the non-caloric natural sweeteners, can sweeten our lives in more ways than one, say scientists.
About the Research
- Researchers at the Institute of Nano Science & Technology an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology (INST), Government of India in their recent study have found that stevioside, a natural plant-based glycoside found in leaves of Honey yerba (‘Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni’) when coated on nanoparticles can increase the efficiency of Magnetic hyperthermia-mediated cancer therapy (MHCT).
- MHCT method of cancer therapy is based on heating the tumor tissues using magnetic nanoparticles in comparison to the routinely used surfactant moieties (oleic acid and polysorbate-80) and is based on generation of localised heat at the tumour site on exposure to AMF (alternating magnetic field) in the presence of magnetic nanoparticles.
4 . Vaccine
Context : With the announcement of COVAXIN by Bharat Biotech and ZyCov-D Vaccine by Zydus Cadila the proverbial silver line in the dark clouds of COVID19 appears at the horizon. Now the nod given by the Drug Controller General of India CDSCO (The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) for the conduct of the human trial for the vaccines, marks the beginning of the end.
- In the past years, India has emerged as one of the significant vaccine manufacturing hubs. Indian manufacturers account for 60% of vaccine supplies made to UNICEF.
- The vaccine for novel coronavirus may be developed anywhere in the world, but without Indian manufacturers involved the production of required quantity is not going to be feasible.
- More than 140 candidate vaccines are under various stages of development. One of the leading candidates is AZD1222 developed Jenner Institute of University of Oxford and licenced to AstraZeneca British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, England.
- The MRNA-1273 vaccine developed by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Washington and taken up for production by the US-based Moderna pharmaceutical is just a step behind. Both these firms have already inked an agreement with Indian manufacturers for production of the COVID vaccines.
- Parallelly Indian institutions have also engaged in R&D for the development of vaccines in India. With the primary scientific inputs coming from institutions like Pune based ICMR institution National Institute of Virology and Hyderabad based CSIR institution Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, six Indian companies are working on a vaccine for COVID-19. Along with the two Indian vaccines, COVAXIN and ZyCov-D, the world over, 11 out of 140 vaccine candidates have entered the human trials.
- Antigen from the pathogen and antibodies produced by the human immune cells can be thought of as matching the compatible pair. Every pathogen has specific molecular structures called as antigen. They are like the surface with a particular hue and design. Once infected by the germ, the human immune system develops antibodies that match the antigen.
- Just as the retailer of design matching material stockpile hundreds of design pieces of riots of colours and hues, our immune system has ten thousand types of antibodies. If the pathogen is a known enemy, the immune system can pull the matching design piece from the stock. Once the match is made the pathogen is inactivated. No longer it can infect.
- However, if the microorganism is unfamiliar, and mainly when it has evolved for the first time, there is no matching colour and hue in the repertoire. Nonetheless, unlike the textile, the antibody can evolve. At first, near matches are tried. After various cycles of antibody development, the best fit matures. The time lag between the identification of the main surface colour that is an antigen, and finding a pairing design piece, that is antibodies, is what makes the infection mild or severe. If only the immune system can neutralise the germ instantly, the infection can be prevented.
Immune System memory and vaccine
- Like a new hue of design piece once acquired is stocked for future, once the new antibody matching the antigen evolves, it is retained in the immunological memory. Next time the same pathogen invades, immunological memory gets activated, and twinned antibody is released. The infection is nipped in the bud. We acquire immunity.
- A vaccine is a method to artificially inducing the immunological memory. Once the antigens of the nasty pathogen are introduced, the immune system is triggered into developing pairing antibodies and immunological memory.
- There are many ways in which one can artificially stroke the immune system to develop antibodies and memory. The bottom line is presenting the antigens of the novel coronavirus to the human immune system. From adenovirus-based live-attenuated virus to recombinant genetic technology is used to develop several types of vaccines. Two among the various possibilities produced in India are inactivated virus vaccine and DNA plasmid vaccine.
How these vaccines work
- We can inactivate a whole virus with heat or formaldehyde (that is ‘killed’), yet keep the antigen molecular structures still intact. However, the inactivated virus will not be able to infect or cause disease, as it is no longer functional. The Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN uses the virus isolated from an Indian patient by the National Institute of Virology to develop the inactivated virus vaccine.
- Novel coronavirus infects the human cells with the help of its spike proteins. The spike protein of the virus binds with the ACE2 receptors on the surface of the human respiratory tract cells. Once the virus fuse, the viral genome is slipped into the human cell where around a thousand copies of the virus are made in just ten hours. These baby viruses emigrate to nearby cells. Infection can be arrested if only we can deactivate the spike protein of the novel coronavirus. Thus the antigen on the spike protein is a crucial vaccine target. If the antibody blocks the spike protein, then the virus cannot bind the cell and multiply.
- The genomic code of the spike protein is spliced into a harmless DNA plasmid. This modified plasmid DNA with the genetic code of viral spike protein is introduced into the host cells. The cellular machinery translates the DNA and produces the viral protein encoded in the genome. The human immune system recognises the alien protein and develops a matching antibody. After this vaccination, if at any time, we are infected by the novel coronavirus, then sensing the spike protein antibodies are released instantly. The immune killer cells seize deactivated viruses. Contagion is arrested even before infection sets in.
5 . Dhanvantri Rath
- Many of the large hospitals in the city have been dedicated for COVID-19 treatment, hence various measures have been taken to ensure that non-COVID essential services related to diabetes, blood pressure, heart ailment etc., are also provisioned to people who cannot visit the hospitals as many of them were not operating the OPDs.
- One of interventions adopted by AMC is large scale deployment of the Mobile Medical Vans named ‘Dhanvantri Rath’.
About Dhanvantri Rath
- Dhanvantri Rath is a mobile van providing non-COVID essential healthcare services to the doorsteps of the people in the city.
- These vans have an Ayush Doctor, paramedic and nursing staff along with local Medical Officer from Urban Health Centre of AMC.
- These vans have been visiting various areas and providing OPD services for non-COVID essential services and field medical consultations to people all over Ahmedabad City at their doorsteps.
- The mobile medical vans carry all essential medicines including ayurvedic & homeopathic medicines, vitamin supplements, basic testing equipments along with pulse Oxymeter.
- In addition to healthcare services reaching the people who cannot access hospital OPD services for various reasons, Dhanvantri Rath has helped identify those who need further clinical treatment or an IPD admission, and ensured that they reach the hospital in a timely manner.
6 . Facts for Prelims
Fit India Movement
- Movement aims to motivate every Indian to incorporate simple, easy ways of staying fit in their everyday life. It is launched by Prime Minister on the eve of National Sports Day
- National Sports Day is celebrated on 29 August, on the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand