Recently, the Ministry of Rural Development under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) has launched the Prajjwala Challenge
- Aim: To invite ideas, solutions and actions that can transform the rural economy. This Mission is looking for ideas which are broadly categorised into
- Focus on Women and the Marginalized section of the community
- Localised Models
- Cost Effective solutions
- Multi-sectoral ideas and solutions
- Shortlisted ideas will be acknowledged by the Mission and will be provided mentorship support from an expert panel and incubation support to scale up. The top 5 ideas will be rewarded with Rs. 2 Lakh each.
What is DAY-NRLM?
- It is one of the flagship poverty alleviation programs which aims at creating efficient and effective institutional platforms for the rural poor, enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.
- Key Features:
- Universal Social Mobilisation: At least one woman member from each identified rural poor household, is to be brought under the Self Help Group (SHG) network in a time bound manner.
- Participatory Identification of Poor (PIP): All households identified as poor through the PIP process is the NRLM Target Group and is eligible for all the benefits under the programme.
- Community Funds as Resources in Perpetuity: NRLM provides Revolving Fund (RF) and Community Investment Fund (CIF) as resources in perpetuity to the institutions of the poor, to strengthen their institutional and financial management capacity.
Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)
Recently, India and Saudi Arabia discussed signing a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to obtain formal assistance from each other in investigations related to criminal cases.
What is MLAT?
- It is a mechanism whereby countries cooperate with one another to provide and obtain formal assistance in the prevention, suppression, investigation and prosecution of crime to ensure that the criminals do not escape or sabotage the due process of law for want of evidence available in different countries.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs is the Central Authority of India for dealing with requests for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
- Section 105of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) explains the reciprocal arrangements to be made by the Central Government with the Foreign Governments with regard to the service of summons/warrants/judicial processes.
- India has so far signed MLATs with 45 countries.
A recent study in the Antarctic reveals that king penguins are threatened by climate change.
- They are the 2nd largest penguin species.
- Habitat: They live on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands. Major colonies are found on Crozet, Prince Edward Island, Kerguelen Island, Heard Island, South Georgia and Macquarie Island.
- King penguins don’t make a nest and they carry their egg around with them at all times on top of their feet by taking turns.
- Conservation Status: According to IUCN it is under the category of Least Concern.
- Threats: Climate change, habitat shifting and southward shifting of the Antarctic Polar Front.
Nilgiri Tahr Conservation Project
Recently, the Tamil Nadu government launched an initiative for the conservation of the Nilgiri Tahr at Rs 25 crore.
- Under The Nilgiri Tahr project, the Tamil Nadu government plans to
- Develop a better understanding of the Nilgiri Tahr population through surveys and radio telemetry studies
- Reintroduce the Tahrs to their historical habitat
- Address proximate threats
- Increase public awareness of the species
- The project is to be implemented for 5 year period from 2022 to 2027.
What is Nilgiri Tahr?
- Nilgiri Tahr is the only Caprinae species found in the tropical mountains of southern
- Habitat: They are endemic to the Western Ghats and used to inhabit a large part of the Western Ghats between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- Conservation Status
- IUCN – Endangered
- Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972 – Schedule I
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, Tel Aviv University and Columbia University are studying a rare genetic brain disease called “GNB1 Encephalopathy” and trying to develop a drug to treat it effectively.
- What it is? GNB1 Encephalopathy is a kind of brain disease or neurological disorder which affects individuals in the foetus stage.
- Symptoms: Delayed physical and mental development, intellectual disabilities, frequent epileptic seizures.
- Cause: A single nucleotide mutation in the GNB1 gene that makes one of the G-proteins, the “Gβ1 protein,” causes this disease.
- Prevalence: To date, less than a hundred cases have been documented worldwide. However, the actual number of affected children is probably much greater as diagnosis is not widely available since it requires a sophisticated and expensive procedure.
G-Protein Coupled Receptor’ (GPCR) signalling
- Every cell in the human body has a wide variety of signalling molecules and pathways that help in communicating with other cells and within itself. The major signalling mechanism used by cells is “GPCR signalling,”.
- GPCR is a receptor that receives a signal (e.g. a hormone, light, neurotransmitter) from the outside of the cell and transduces it to the inside of the cell. GPCR is present in the cell membrane and has a G-protein (αβγ) attached to it from inside the cell.
- G-proteins are the immediate downstream molecules that relay the signal received by the GPCR. These G-proteins are present in every cell, and any malfunction will cause disease.
Indian Science Congress
Prime Minister will inaugurate inaugural session of the 108th Indian Science Congress through video conferencing on January 3, 2023.
- Indian Science Congress, the annual gathering of researchers in the country is organised by the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).
- Theme: “Science and Technology for Sustainable Development with Women Empowerment.”
- The first meeting of the Congress was held from January 15-17, 1914 at the premises of the Asiatic Society, Calcutta.
- Sections covered in ISC: There are fourteen sections which includes Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Earth System Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Medical Sciences etc.
What is Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)?
- Established in 1914, ISCA is a professional body under Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology.
- ISCA owes its origin to the foresight and initiative of two British Chemists, namely, Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P.S. MacMahon.
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)
Dinesh Kumar Shukla, former Executive Director of AERB & Distinguished Scientist assumed the charge as Chairman, AERB on 31st December 2022.
- The AERB was constituted on November 15, 1983, by the President of India by exercising the powers conferred by the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to carry out certain regulatory and safety functions under the Act.
- The regulatory authority of AERB is derived from the rules and notifications promulgated under the Atomic Energy Act and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
- The Mission of the AERB is to ensure the use of ionizing radiation and nuclear energy in India does not cause undue risk to the health of people and the environment.
- The total number of members including the Chairman and Member-Secretary shall not exceed five. The Board shall be responsible to the Atomic Energy Commission.
- The Board shall consist of full time and part time members. The Board shall have a full time Chairman and a full time Member-Secretary.
- The AERB shall have authority to administer the provisions of the Factories Act, 1948, the industrial safety for the units of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) as per Section 23 of the Atomic Energy Act,1962.
- The executive functions of the AERB shall be vested in Chairman, AERB.
- The DAE will provide the necessary administrative support to the AERB in this regard to its budget, parliamentary work and establishment and accounts matters.