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13 MAY 2022

. No. Topic Name Prelims/Mains
1.    Leader of Opposition Prelims & Mains
2.    What is Espionage Prelims & Mains
3.    Heatwave Prelims & Mains
4.    Chardham Initiative Prelims Specific Topic
5.    What is INSACOG Prelims Specific Topic


1 – Leader of Opposition 


Indian Parliament

  • Context:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi intimated on Thursday that after becoming Prime Minister twice, a “very senior” Opposition leader whom he respects had questioned “what else” he could do, but he will not rest until “100 percent” coverage of Government programmes is achieved.
  • Who is the leader of the opposition?
  • With at least one-tenth of the vote, the LOP is the leader of the house’s largest party.
  • It is defined as a legislative office by the Salaries and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act of 1977.
  • The significance of the job:
  • LoP refers to the “shadow Prime Minister.”
  • She or he is expected to be ready to take over if the government falls apart.
  • In policy and legislative activity, the LoP also aids the opposition in becoming more unified and successful.
  • The LoP is essential for guaranteeing bipartisanship and neutrality in appointments to accountability and transparency bodies including the CVC, CBI, CIC, Lokpal, and others.
  • What modifications are required?
  • A crisis occurs when no opposition party wins 55 or more seats. In such instances, the speaker should grant the opposition’s numerically largest party the right to have a leader recognised as opposition leader.
  • Furthermore, the 10% language contradicts the 1977 law ‘the salary and allowances of leaders of opposition in Parliament Act,’ which merely specifies that the greatest opposition party be nominated chevalier.
  • Source – The Hindu

2 – What is Espionage:


Internal Security Related Issues

  • Context:
  • An Indian Air Force jawan has been arrested on espionage charges, according to Delhi Police Crime Branch investigators, and they believe he was ‘honey-trapped’ online by an unidentified woman who allegedly obtained important information from him.
  • What exactly is cyber espionage?
  • Cyber espionage, often known as cyber spying, is a type of cyberattack in which an unauthorised user attempts to obtain sensitive or secret data or intellectual property (IP) for commercial, competitive, or political advantage.
  • What exactly is the goal of cyber espionage?
  • Cyber espionage is typically used to gather sensitive or classified data, trade secrets, or other types of intellectual property (IP) that can be used to gain a competitive advantage or sold for profit by the aggressor.
  • In some cases, the breach is simply intended to harm the victim’s reputation by leaking personal information or engaging in unethical business practises.
  • They could be used to assist military operations or as a kind of cyber terrorism or warfare.
  • When cyber espionage is utilised as part of a wider military or political operation, it can damage public services and infrastructure, as well as result in death.
  • Cyberespionage targets include:
  • The most common targets of cyber espionage are large corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, and other organisations with valuable intellectual property and technical data that could provide another company or government a competitive advantage.
  • Targeted marketing may include individuals such as important political leaders and government officials, corporate executives, and even celebrities.
  • Cyber spies are more likely to target the following assets:
  • Data and actions in the sphere of R&D IP, such as product formulas or designs, derived from academic research
  • Salaries, bonus structures, and other sensitive financial and expenditure information
  • Client or customer lists, as well as payment agreements
  • Marketing techniques, marketing tactics, and business objectives
  • Political methods, affiliations, and communications
  • Military intelligence
  • Techniques of Cyber Espionage:
  • Cyber espionage is regarded as an advanced persistent threat for the most part (APT).
  • A persistent intrusion is a sophisticated, long-term hack in which an intruder establishes an undetected presence in a network over time in order to steal crucial data.
  • An APT attack is painstakingly planned and designed to infiltrate a specific organisation while evading existing security measures for a long period of time.
  • Source – The Hindu

3 – Heatwave:


Disaster Management Related Issues

  • Context:
  • Since March 2022, heatwaves have swept South Asia, continuing a disturbing pattern of breaking historical temperature records. Thankfully, unlike previous heatwaves like the one in 2015, these high temperatures were not accompanied by a high fatality rate. We’re still attempting to understand out what caused those deadly heat waves.
  • Heat Wave Definition:
  • A heat wave is a period of unusually high temperatures, above the average maximum temperature, that happens throughout the summer in India’s North-Western and South-Central regions.
  • Heat waves are most common between March and June, with some extending into July.
  • Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becoming more common as a result of climate change.
  • Criteria related to heat waves:
  • A heat wave occurs when the peak temperature at a station reaches at least 40°C for Plains and at least 30°C for Hilly regions.
  • A heat wave is defined as a temperature increase of 5°C to 6°C from a station’s normal maximum temperature of less than or equal to 40°C.
  • A severe heat wave is defined as a temperature increase of 7°C or more above usual.
  • A heat wave is defined as a temperature increase of 4°C to 5°C from a station’s normal maximum temperature of more than 40°C. Furthermore, a severe heat wave is defined as a temperature increase of 6°C or greater.
  • Regardless of the normal maximum temperature, a heat wave is declared if the actual highest temperature remains 45°C or greater.
  • The Health Effects of Heat Waves:
  • Heat waves are known to cause dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and/or heat stroke.
  • Side effects include heat cramps, tiredness, weakness, disorientation, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscular cramps, and sweating.
  • Extreme temperatures and the climatic circumstances that result have a significant influence on persons who live in these locations because they generate physiological stress, which can result in death.
  • Steps to Follow:
  • While climate change is a major predictor of catastrophic weather occurrences, it is not the cause of such disasters. As climate change increases, heat waves are becoming increasingly common. As a result, the intensity and frequency of heatwaves can be lowered if the global community selects and commits to a lower emissions scenario in the future.
  • Information from the India Meteorological Department:
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) was established in 1875.
  • It is part of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Indian government.
  • It is in charge of weather forecasting, meteorological measurements, and seismology.
  • Source – The Hindu

4 – Chardham Initiative:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • In Uttarakhand, the historic Char Dham pilgrimage began in the first week of this month, attracting an unprecedented number of visitors. After being closed for the winters, one of the Char Dhams, Kedarnath, reopened on May 6. Worse, all four of the hill state’s major holy sites are located in ecologically sensitive zones, and experts have advised against huge crowds there.
  • Chardham Project Details:
  • “Increase link to the Chardham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas (Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri), making journeys to these centres safer, faster, and more convenient,” according to the CharDham Pariyojana.
  • It would widen about 900 kilometres of roads, including NH 125 between Tanakpur and Pithoragarh, which is part of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route.
  • National Security Consequences: This project might be a vital link between the India-China border and Army bases in Dehradun and Meerut, which hold missile sites and heavy equipment.
  • The implementing agencies include the Uttarakhand State Public Works Department (PWD), Border Roads Organisation (BRO), and National Highway & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).
  • NHIDCL is entirely owned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • Environmental concerns surrounding the project include:
  • The project will destroy 690 hectares of forest, 55,000 trees, and 20 million cubic metres of soil.
  • Harvesting or removing plants indiscriminately for road widening might endanger biodiversity and regional ecology.
  • The Kalij Pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos, Schedule-I), Tragopans (Tragopan melanocephalus & Tragopan satyra, Schedule-I), and various types of Vultures (Schedule-I), as well as the endangered fish Golden Mahseer, are among the notable species found there (Tor putitora).
  • While there is no link between the CharDham project and the recent Chamoli glacier break tragedy, unregulated blasting during road building causes soil and rock fissures, potentially increasing the risk of future flash floods.
  • Source – The Hindu

5 – What is INSACOG:

Prelims Specific Topic

  • Context:
  • At a global gathering, Prime Minister Modi said that India will expand its genome sequencing network to include its neighbours.
  • In order to foster a coordinated response to future health catastrophes, the prime minister suggests reforming the World Health Organization, expediting its clearance procedure for vaccinations and treatments, and easing World Trade Organization restrictions.
  • What is INSACOG, exactly?
  • In December 2020, the Indian government formed INSACOG, a nationwide multi-agency collaboration of Regional Genome Sequencing Laboratories (RGSLs) to track genomic changes in the covid-19 virus, which causes SARS-CoV-2.
  • The partnership began with ten laboratories and has subsequently expanded to include 28 facilities.
  • RGSLs are in charge of genome sequencing and the detection of variants of concern/interest, potential variations of interest, and other mutations. You can read more about coronavirus variations by following the link.
  • The INSACOG’s mission is to increase coronavirus whole genome sequencing in order to learn more about how the virus spreads and evolves.
  • It is governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Indian government.
  • INSACOG was developed in collaboration by the Health Ministry, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • Genome sequencing is important because it allows scientists to learn more about how individual mutations affect virus infectivity, immunological escape, and antibody evasion, all of which have consequences for vaccination efficacy.
  • Initial samples were taken from overseas travellers arriving in India from Brazil, the United Kingdom, or South Africa, as well as those transiting through these countries, due to an increase in the number of cases in these countries. The network sequenced RTPCR positive samples from states reporting rapid spikes in cases.
  • INSACOG’s goals are:
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on people’s lives in India and around the world. It has had a negative impact on both the health and economic sectors in India. In-depth sequencing and study of the virus’s genomic data are required to understand how it grows, mutates, and spreads. INSACOG was founded with this objective in mind. Any changes in the virus’s genetic coding or mutations can be detected by examining and sequencing samples in INSACOG facilities.
  • INCASOG’s stated objectives are as follows:
  • To learn about the performance of Variants of Interest (VoI) and Variants of Concern (VoC) in India.
  • To detect genetic variants early and aid in the creation of an effective public health response, establish sentinel monitoring and surge surveillance techniques.
  • Determine whether samples acquired during super-spreader episodes and in areas where cases/deaths are increasing contain genetic variants.
  • What is the purpose of INSACOG?
  • The IDSP machinery collects and delivers samples from districts and sentinel sites to the RGSLs. The labs then use genome sequencing to look for variations that are of interest or concern. In coordination with State Surveillance Officers, this data is transmitted to the IDSP’s Central Surveillance Unit for clinico-epidemiological correlation.
  • The INSACOG’s activities are supported by the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Group (SCAG). The SCAG requests that the Central Surveillance Unit investigate the VOI further if necessary after the talks.
  • In order to create and implement suitable public health measures, IDSP shares its genome sequencing analysis and clinico-epidemiological correlation findings with the Health Ministry, CSIR, DBT, ICMR, and states/UTs.
  • The new mutations/variants of concern are cultivated, and genomic studies are carried out to see how they affect vaccination efficacy and immune evasion.
  • Source – The Hindu


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