Prelims Booster

14th and 15th April – Prelims Booster


YUKTI Web Portal

Union Human Resource and Development Ministry has recently launched a web-portal named YUKTI (Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation). 

What is it?

  • It’s a unique portal and dashboard to monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of MHRD. 
  • The portal intends to cover the different dimensions of COVID-19 challenges in a very holistic and comprehensive way.
  • It will cover the various initiatives and efforts of the institutions in academics, research especially related to CoVID, social initiatives by institutions and the measures taken for the betterment of the total wellbeing of the students. 
  • The portal will cover both qualitative and quantitative parameters for effective delivery of services to the academic community at large. 
  • It will also provide a platform to various institutions to share their strategies for various challenges which are there because of the unprecedented situation of COVID-19 and other future initiatives. 

What is its objective?

  • It will also provide inputs for better planning and will enable MHRD to monitor effectively its activities for coming six months.
  • The portal will also establish a two-way communication channel between the Ministry of HRD and the institutions so that the Ministry can provide the necessary support system to the institutions.
  • This portal will help in critical issues related to student promotion policies, placements related challenges and physical and mental well-being of students in these challenging times. 
  • The web platform Yukti will epitomise its name and prove to be a great enabler in taking the research to the ultimate stakeholders, the citizens of our country.

Meru Jatra Festival

Odisha’s Ganjam district administration has banned the Meru Jatra festival and congregations related to it at temples on the occasion of Mahavishub Sankranti.

What is Meru Jatra?

Meru Jatra marks the end of 21-day-long festival of penance named ‘Danda Nata’. Mahavishub Sankranti is also start of the Odia New Year. On this day, thousands of devotees used to gather at the Tara Tarini hill shrine and other temples.

What is Danda Nata?

  • Danda Nata or Danda Jatra is one of the most important traditional dance festivals organised in different parts of South Odisha and particularly in the Ganjam District, the heartland of ancient Kalinga Empire.
  • Danda begins on an auspicious day before the Chaitra Sankranti or Meru Parba with traditional worship and fasting. 
  • Only male persons take part in this festival. 
  • The participants are known as the ‘Bhoktas‘. All the `Bhoktas` or ‘Danduas’ lead a very pious life for all these days during the festival and they avoid eating meat, fish or cohabiting during this period.
  • It is believed that the present day Danda Nata is a part of the ancient Chaitra Yatra festivals being celebrated every year at Taratarini Shakti/Tantra Peetha.
  • The Kalinga Emperors organised this Chaitra festival for their Ista Devi, Taratarini.

Taratarini Temple –

  • Tara Tarini hill shrine, located at Kumari hill on banks of the Rushikulya River, is a major centre of Shakti worship in Odisha.
  • The Tara Tarini Shakti Peetha is one of the oldest pilgrimage centres of the Mother Goddess and is one of four major ancient Tantra Peetha and Shakti Peethas in India. 
  • The mythological texts recognise four major Shakti Peethas: Tara Tarini (Stana Khanda), near Berhampur; Bimala (Pada Khanda) inside the Jagannath Temple, Puri; Kamakhya (Yoni Khanda), near Guwahati; and Dakshina Kalika (Mukha Khanda) in Kolkata.


Persistent hypoxia (reduced oxygen in the cells) was the main trigger for the deaths of persons who had tested positive for COVID-19.

What is ‘hypoxia’?

  • Hypoxia is a condition in which the body or a region of the body is deprived of adequate oxygen supply at the tissue level. Hypoxia may be classified as either generalised, affecting the whole body, or local, affecting a region of the body.
  • Pulmonologists explain that hypoxia basically means reduced oxygen in the cells. When the lungs are damaged, adequate oxygen does not reach the cells. This leads to resistance to treatment.

Relation with COVID-19 –

In patients with COVID-19, the fluid in the lungs interferes with the oxygen transfer to the blood. As a result, there is a decrease of oxygen levels.

BCG Vaccine

Several media reports suggested a link between the BCG vaccine and COVID-19 virus. However, the World Health Organisation has clarified that the there is no evidence that the Bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccine (BCG) protects people against infection with COVID-19 virus.

What is BCG vaccine?

  • BCG vaccine provides immunity or protection against tuberculosis (TB).
  • The vaccine may be given to persons at high risk of developing TB.
  • It is also used to treat bladder tumours or bladder cancer.
  • India having a universal BCG policy in place since the year 1968 and relatively fewer deaths as a proportion of confirmed coronavirus infections.

Relationship with COVID-19 –

  • The BCG vaccine contains a live but weakened strain of tuberculosis bacteria that provokes the body to develop antibodies to attack TB bacteria.
  • This is called an adaptive immune response, because the body develops a defence against a specific disease-causing microorganism, or pathogen, after encountering it.
  • Most vaccines create an adaptive immune response to a single pathogen.

Daily MCQs

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