Prelims Booster

6th July – Prelims Booster

AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission – Niti Aayog has launched Digital India AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge for Indian tech entrepreneurs and Startups.

About the challenge –

  • This shall run in 2 tracks – Promotion of Existing Apps and Development of New Apps.
  • The focus of the Track 1 App Innovation Challenge, 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.
  • 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.

Scope of the challenge –

The AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge Track 1 is being launched in the following 8 broad categories –

  • Office Productivity & Work from Home
  • Social Networking
  • E-Learning
  • Entertainment
  • Health & Wellness
  • Business including Agritech and Fin-tech
  • News
  • Games

Type-1 diabetes

Researchers at the KEM Hospital and Research Centre, Pune; CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad; and the University of Exeter in the UK have found that a genetic risk score is effective in diagnosing type-1 diabetes in Indians. The outcome of their research has been published in Scientific Reports.

What is this genetic risk score?

Developed by the University of Exeter, the genetic risk score takes into account detailed genetic information that are known to increase the chance of developing type-1 diabetes. The score may be used at the time of diabetes diagnosis to help decide if someone has type-1 diabetes.

About diabetes –

  • It is the inability of the body to effectively use or respond to the insulin produced by the body, and as a result, blood sugar levels cannot be regulated effectively. Diabetes mellitus is further classified into two types, namely:
    • Type 1 Diabetes – It is also known as Diabetes Mellitus Type 1. It occurs when the pancreas fails to produce sufficient insulin. The consequent lack of insulin causes an increase in glucose level in urine and blood.
    • Type 2 Diabetes – It is also called Diabetes Mellitus Type 2. The prime reason for the occurrence of type 2 diabetes is due to obesity and lack of exercise in people who are genetically biased.

Significance of the research –

  • It is widely believed that only children and adolescents get type-1 diabetes and obese and older (typically after 45 years of age) get type-2 diabetes. However, recent findings have shown that type-1 diabetes can occur later in life, while type-2 diabetes is on the rise among younger and thinner Indians.
  • Distinguishing the two types of diabetes, has therefore, become more complex. The two types follow different treatment regime with type-1 diabetes needing lifelong insulin injections but type-2 diabetes often being managed with diet or tablet treatment.
  • Misclassification of the type of diabetes may lead to sub-standard diabetes care and possible complications. In this context, this particular study gains importance as it helps in diagnosing diabetes from its type-1 and type 2 variants correctly.

Swami Vivekananda

Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah paid tributes to Swami Vivekananda, a patriotic saint, a great thinker and an exemplary orator who not only reinforced the spirit of nationalism in India but also enriched the whole world with the ethos of Indian culture.

About Swami Vivekananda –

  • Swami Vivekananda was born Narendra Nath Datta, on 12th January, 1863. He was a monk and chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
  • He introduced Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the world stage during the late 19th century.
  • He established Ramakrishna Mission in 1987, named after his Guru Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa. The institution did extensive educational and philanthropic work in India.
  • He also represented India in the first Parliament of Religion held in Chicago (U.S.) in 1893.

Philosophy of Vedanta –

  • It was based on Upanishads and their interpretation.
  • Its aim was to enquire about ‘Brahman’ (ultimate reality) which was the central concept of Upanishads.
  • It saw Veda as the ultimate source of information and whose authority could not be questioned.
  • It emphasised on path of knowledge (jnana) as opposed to that of sacrifice (karma).
  • Ultimate aim of knowledge was ‘Moksha’ i.e. liberation from ‘sansara’.

Swami Vivekananda –

  • He is initially a western educated Brahmo Samajist in his young age. But the Brahmo movement failed to provide solutions to his spiritual quests.
  • He became the disciple of Sri Ramakrishna whose Bhakti appealed to him more than the high intellectualism of Brahmos.
  • He is a proponent of Practical Vedanta which he considered as a religion most suited to the needs of modern man. He believed in the essential unity of man and god (Advaita).
  • He believed that it was only in selflessness and in consciously trying to serve the larger humanity that one truly gained a perspective on religion and God. This thought laid emphasis on the Karma Marga of Bhagavad-Gita.
  • He reoriented the traditional Advaita of world renunciation to a new world affirmation ideal. He searched for salvation in selflessness.
  • Many rivers flow by many ways but they fall into the same sea. This is the basis of Swamijis religious universalism and eclecticism.

Social reformer –

  • In the first place he did not think man’s thought could truly turn to God unless his basic social needs had been reasonably met. He also considered it a sin to teach spirituality to a starving man.
  • God is everywhere but he is most manifest in man. So serve man as God. That is as good as worshipping God. He joined together the ideals of one’s own salvation and welfare of the world.
  • There is infinite moral and spiritual potential in man. To develop that potential is man’s foremost duty in life. He declared education to be the manifestation of divinity inherent to man.
  • He was a critic of – Idolatry, Polytheism, Religious superstitions, Exploitation by priests in the religious sphere.
  • He envisaged an equal role to women in society and promoted women emancipation and empowerment.
  • He wanted a new man to emerge from the confluence of the spiritualism of the east and materialism of west.

Contribution to nationalism –

  • Swami Vivekananda contributed enormously to the strengthening of Hindu self-pride and cultural nationalism.
  • Vedanta was all about man-making. Manliness and activism are the gospels of swamiji for the resurgence of India.
  • Young men and women, in his vision, were to be the building blocks of a resurgent, Vedantic India.
  • He gave the call of self-sufficiency and self-help which he considered necessary for national regeneration.
  • He inspired a whole generation of patriots and revolutionaries. He is considered a patron prophet by the revolutionaries of Bengal.
  • He declared that India needs muscles of iron and nerves of steel to retain its lost glory and pride.

Nagarhole National Park

The Forest Department will soon put in place traffic monitoring mechanism along the roads adjacent to Nagarahole National Park and criss-crossing Mysuru and Kodagu districts to ensure better compliance of forest laws by motorists and to minimise road kills.

How will it work?

The vehicles on approaching the forest check posts would be given the time stamped card, complete with details of the speed limit to be maintained and the exit time at the next check post. This mechanism will ensure that the motorist do not hang around or over speed which can result in animal kills.

About Nagarhole National Park –

  • It is also known as ‘Rajiv Gandhi National Park’.
  • It was established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and was upgraded into a national park in 1988.
  • It was declared as the 37th Tiger reserve under Project Tiger in 1999.
  • The Park lies in the Western Ghats and is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
  • The Nagarahole River flows through the park, which joins the Kabini River which also is a boundary between Nagarahole and Bandipur Ntional Park.
  • Flora – The vegetation consists mainly of moist deciduous forests with predominating trees of teak and rosewood.
  • Fauna – Asian elephants, chital (spotted deer), Indian mouse deer, gaur, stripe-necked and ruddy mongooses, grey langur, bonnet macaque, Asian wild dog, leopard, tiger, sloth bear among others.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

To ensure sufficient availability of critical medical equipment for clinical management of COVID-19 in the country, the Union Health Ministry said that it had identified had identified a list of critical medical equipment and had requested the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to ensure its availability at affordable prices.

Role of NPPA in COVID-19 pandemic –

  • A stakeholders consultation with medical devices industry associations and civil society groups was held by the NPPA wherein it was stressed that all the manufacturers and importers of critical medical equipment shall ensure sufficient availability of the same.
  • It was reiterated that all the medical devices have come under price regulation accordingly, price increase of medical devices would be monitored.
  • The NPPA told the industry that it was not “business as usual” and not the time to profiteer. The Medical Devices Industry Associations have been urged to bring down the retail price of critical equipment in the public interest in the prevailing situation as has been done by the manufacturers/importers of N-95 masks.

About National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority –

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), is an independent body of experts under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, formed in the year 1997 so as to implement and enforce the provisions of the Drugs Prices Control Order (DPCO) for regulating medicine prices in accordance with the powers delegated to it.
  • NPPA is delegated with the powers to exercise the functions of the Central Government in respect of various paragraphs of the Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO) – DPCO, 1995 and now DPCO, 2013.
  • The functions of NPPA include fixation and revision of prices of scheduled drugs (those medicines included in Schedule I of the DPCO which are subject to price control) and formulations, Monitoring of prices of decontrolled drugs and formulations, Implementation and enforcement of the provisions of DPCO in accordance with the powers delegated, Monitoring the availability of drugs, identify shortages, taking remedial steps, etc.
  • The organisation is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers.
  • All the powers of Government of pricing according to Essential Commodities Act have been delegated to it. Under DPCO, 2013 the powers to Review are vested with the Government.

National Logistics Law

The Commerce Ministry is considering replacing the Multi-Modal Transportation of Goods Act (MMTG) with a full-fledged national logistics law with a view to promote growth of the sector.

What is Multimodal transportation?

Multimodal transportation refers to a combination of more than one mode of movement, such as rail, road or sea, for end-to-end delivery of goods.

What is being proposed?

A National Logistics Efficiency and Advancement Predictability and Safety Act (NLEAPS) is under consideration and this law tends to define various participants of the logistics space and create a light regulatory ecosystem.

Significance –

The move assumes significance as high logistics cost impacts the competitiveness of domestic goods in the international market. Effective implementation of the policy would help provide an impetus to trade, enhance export competitiveness, and improve India’s ranking in the Logistics Performance Index.

Background –

  • India’s logistics sector is highly fragmented and the government aims to reduce the logistics cost from the present 14% of the Gross Domestic Product to less than 10%.
  • According to an earlier statement from the Ministry, the sector is complex, with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partnering agencies, 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications and 10,000 commodities.

About Multi-Modal Transportation of Goods Act –

  • The Multimodal Transport Act was passed by the Indian Parliament in 1993 to establish a standardised regime for the multimodal transport operators (MTOs).
  • The Director General of Shipping was identified as the competent authority under this law.
  • This Act paved the way for MTOs to register themselves with the authority and start their operations.
  • This provided a boost to the inland movement of traffic under a single authority.

Prelims Facts –

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Sanskrit News Magazine ‘Vaartavali’ on completion of its five years of continuous broadcast on DD News.


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