IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


3rd June, 2020



Scientists at multiple CSIR laboratories have identified a type of coronavirus that may be the second most prevalent in India and may comprise 3.5% of the genomes globally.


-The most dominant coronavirus clade in India is the A2a, and of 213 genomes analysed by the group, 62% of them were A2a.

-The newly identified type, that the scientists have christened A3i, comprised 41% of those analysed. There are 11 SARS-CoV-2 types identified globally, with at least six of them identified in India.


Source: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/scientists-find-second-most-common-coronavirus-type-in-india/article31734371.ece

Recombinant DNA Technology

-       It is a technology used for producing artificial Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) through the combination of different genetic materials (DNA) from different sources is referred to as Recombinant DNA Technology.

-       Recombinant DNA technology is popularly known as genetic engineering.

Recombinant DNA technology involves several steps in specific sequence:

-       Isolation of Genetic Material: It involves the isolation of desired DNA in its purest form i.e. free from macromolecules.

-       Cutting the gene at the recognition sites: The restriction enzymes determine the location at which the desired gene is inserted into the vector genome (a virus or plasmid that is used to ferry a desired DNA sequence into a host cell).

-       Ligation of DNA Molecules: Ligation involves joining of the two pieces – a cut fragment of DNA and the vector together with the help of the enzyme DNA ligase. the DNA molecule thus produced is called recombinant DNA.

-       Insertion of Recombinant DNA into Host: The recombinant DNA is introduced into a recipient host cell. This process is termed as Transformation.

After the insertion of the recombinant DNA into the host cell, it gets multiplied and is expressed in the form of the manufactured protein under optimal conditions. The effectively transformed cells/organisms carry forward the recombinant gene to the offspring.

The recombinant DNA molecule produces new genetic combinations that are of value to science, medicine, agriculture, and industry.

Technology Applications

-       Gene Therapy - It is used as an attempt to correct the gene defects which give rise to heredity diseases.

-       Clinical diagnosis - It has been useful in detecting the presence of Human immunodeficiency Virus in a person.

-       Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) is an example of the application of recombinant DNA technology, it is a test that detects and measures antibodies in blood.

-       Medicines - For the production of Insulin.

-       Agriculture - To produce genetically-modified organisms such as FlavrSavr tomatoes.

Guidelines for Recombinant DNA Technology in India

-       Biosafety refers to policies and procedures adopted to avoid risk to human health and safety and to the conservation of the environment as a result of the use of Genetically Modified Organism (GMOs) for research and trade

-       Under the Biosafety Research programme, main emphasis is given to facilitate the implementation of biosafety procedures, rules and guidelines under Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and Rules 1989 to ensure safety from the use of GMOs and products thereof in research and application to the users as well as to the environment.

-       A three tier mechanism comprising

-       Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBSC) at the Institute/company.

-       Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation (RCGM) in the Department of Biotechnology.

-       Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) in the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoE&F) for granting approval Genetically Engineered (GE) crops.



Union Minister of Rural Development chaired the 21st meeting of Central Employment Guarantee Council.


-       It was constituted under Section 10 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA), 2005.

-       Rural development minister said that for the Financial Year 2020-21, Rs.61,500 crore has been allocated for this programme which is an all-time high.

-       Additional provision of Rs.40,000 crores has been made for this programme under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to provide employment to the needy workers during this difficult period arising of COVID-19.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/Pressreleaseshare.aspx?PRID=1628782



An Expert Committees on Rationalisation of Film Media Units and Review of Autonomous Bodies submitted its report to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Committee was chaired by Bimal Julka.


-       The committee has found overlapping activities being undertaken by multiple institutes.

-       It has suggested an umbrella configuration with 4 broad verticals under which institutes should work. They are - Production, Festival, Heritage and Knowledge. It has recommended that these verticals be headed by professionals.

-       It has also recommended creation of Film Promotion Fund for independent filmmakers for making commercial films.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1628752



US President Donald Trump has postponed the G7 Summit till September. He has expressed his desire to expand the Group to G10 or G11, including India and three other nations Russia, Australia and South Korea to the grouping of the world's top economies.


-       The G-7 or ‘Group of Seven’ are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

-       The G-7 nations meet at annual summits that are presided over by leaders of member countries on a rotational basis. The summit is an informal gathering that lasts two days, in which leaders of member countries discuss a wide range of global issues.

-       The G-7 does not have a formal constitution or a fixed headquarters.

-       The decisions taken by leaders during annual summits are non-binding.


-       It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 by the top economies of the time as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues.

-       Canada joined the group in 1976, and the European Union began attending in 1977.

-       The G-7 was known as the ‘G-8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. The Group returned to being called G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.


Source:  https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/donald-trumps-move-to-invite-india-russia-australia-south-korea-to-attend-g-7-summit-riles-china/articleshow/76157749.cms




On the western coast of India, Cyclone Nisarga is headed towards the coastline of north Maharashtra and south Gujarat.


-       In strength and intensity, Cyclone Nisarga would be much weaker than Cyclone Amphan that struck on May 20 and passed through West Bengal on its way to Bangladesh.

-       Cyclones formed in the Bay of Bengal side of the north Indian Ocean are more frequent and stronger than those on the Arabian Sea side.

-       The relatively cold waters of the Arabian Sea discourage the kind of very strong cyclones that are formed on the Bay of Bengal side; Odisha and Andhra Pradesh face the brunt of these cyclones every year.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/cyclone-nisarga-landfall-high-alert-maharashtra-weather-6438005/


Central Vista Project

The Central government is planning to restructure the Central Vista.


-The Central government wants to redevelop the Central Vista, the 3-km long stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

-Amid the Covid-19 battle, the Centre has been rushing ahead, ignoring pleas to pause it for further deliberations.

-The plan is to construct a new Parliament building by March 2022 and a common central secretariat by March 2024.

-These will be built along with new residences for the Prime Minister and the Vice President near South and North Blocks, which will be repurposed as museums.

-There will be a new building for the Prime Minister’s Office.

What is the project cost?

According to the CPWD application for environmental clearance for the project, the construction of the new Parliament building is estimated to cost Rs. 922 crore.

Why restructure?

-       For the pre-Independence buildings that came up between 1911 and 1931, the Centre has cited that the restructuring needs to be done having in mind the structural safety of the existing buildings.

-       For the post-Independence buildings such as ShastriBhawan and Krishi Bhawan, it has cited the need for modern workspaces.

-       Once delimitation is done and the number of seats will increase.So, there will be need for more space to seat MPs and office space for all of them.


-       The Opposition, environmentalists, architects and citizens have raised many concerns even before the pandemic brought in extra issues.

-       They have questioned the lack of studies to ascertain the need for the project and its impact on the environment, traffic and pollution.

-       But, several key approvals for the proposed Parliament building have been pushed during the lockdown.

-       This led to allegations of a lack of transparency.

-       There were enough reasons to be circumspect about this grand idea from the very beginning.

-       In the situation created by the pandemic, it must be deferred and the idea revisited later.


Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/monumental-hurry-on-central-vista-project/article31734021.ece