Prelims Booster

31st March – Prelims Booster


Gond adivasis survive on roti and salt

Context – The Gond tribals are stranded without adequate food and resources due to the prevailing coronavirus lockdown.

About Gond tribes –

  • Gonds are mostly found in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Odisha.
  • Gond has been notified as a Scheduled Tribe.
  • Gonds are subdivided into four tribes – Raj Gonds; Madia Gonds; Dhurve Gonds, and; Khatulwar Gonds.
  • Kodo and kutki (millets) are their staple food.
  • Gonds are one of the largest tribal groups in the world.
  • Rice is mostly consumed during festival feasts.
  • Gonds believe that earth, water, and air are ruled by Gods.
  • They speak Gondi which is an unwritten language of the Dravidian family.

How population size shapes evolution patterns in E.Coli

Studying cultures of E. coli bacteria, a group of evolutionary biologists from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, has found that the population size determines the kind of fitness trade-offs the microbes adopt.

About E. Coli –

  • E.coli or Escherichia coli is a rod-shaped bacteria that generally lives in the intestines of humans and most other mammals.
  • Usually, it is harmless and quite beneficial for the health of the organism. But some variations of these bacteria are quite harmful and can cause severe food poisoning.
  • Besides food poisoning, E.coli is also known to cause pneumonia as well as urinary tract infections, the latter of which can lead to serious health complications. 

What is ‘Fitness trade-off’?

Fitness trade-off may be understood in the following manner – Organisms do not have the capacity to maximise all their functions at the same time. Often when they enhance one function, another function suffers, or when they adapt to survive well in one environment, they cannot survive or reproduce well in another environments. This is called a fitness trade-off. This concept has been used by evolutionary biologists to explain why species prefer one environment to another.

What is antimicrobial resistance?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others. When an organism is resistant to more than one drug, it is said to be multidrug-resistant.

Context of the study –

  • Evolution causes some organisms to be generalists, by which it is meant that they can survive in different environments, and basically they will have an tolerable level of fitness in all environments. The other option is they evolve into specialists, where the organism will have a high degree of fitness in a particular environment while having low fitness in other environments.
  • The usage of fitness-trade off in the context of antibiotic resistance is essential. General bacteria tolerate a wide range of distinct antibiotics (for example, multidrug resistant bacteria). On the other hand, specialist bacteria have to show a fitness trade-off. They resist one antibiotic (for instance, rifampicin) but become susceptible to another (for instance, tetracycline).
  • From the example itself, it is clear that understanding how evolution brings about difference between specialists and generalists, for instance, is very important.

What does the study say?

  • The study shows that large populations tend to evolve into specialists, exercising fitness trade-offs, whereas small populations evolve into generalists.
  • The study experimentally affirms the link between population size and evolution of fitness trade-offs.

Implication –

The costs of antimicrobial resistance are expected to check the spread of resistant microbes if antimicrobials are removed abruptly from the environments. Moreover, pathogens are also expected to experience fitness trade-offs when they migrate across different hosts.

Business Immunity Platform

The Invest India Business Immunity Platform hosted on the website of Invest India, India’s National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is working 24X7 as a comprehensive resource to help businesses and investors get real-time updates on India’s active response to COVID-19.

What is Business Immunity Platform (BIP)?

  • The Business Immunity Platform (BIP) is the active platform for business issue redressal, with a team of dedicated sector experts who respond to queries at the earliest.
  • Invest India has also announced a partnership with SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) for responding and resolving queries for MSMEs.
  • This dynamic and constantly updating platform keeps a regular track on developments with respect to the virus, provides latest information on various central and state government initiatives, gives access to special provisions, and answers and resolves queries through emails and on WhatsApp.
  • BIP has launched ‘Joining the Dots’ campaign to procure essential healthcare supplies. It is also facilitating matchmaking to fill the demand-supply shortages of essential equipment to combat COVID-19.

About Invest India Programme –

  • Invest India was formed in 2009 under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 for promotion of foreign investment with 49% equity of the then Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (now Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) , Ministry of Commerce and Industry and 51% shareholding by FICCI.
  • The current shareholding pattern of Invest India is 51 % of Industry Associations (i.e. 17% each of FICCI, CII & NASSCOM) and the remaining 49% of Central and 19 State Governments.
  • It is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India and act as the first point of reference for investors in India.

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