DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 14th May 2022

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  • May 15, 2022
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Iron tools in Tamil Nadu

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  • Prelims – History
  • Mains – GS 1 (Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times)

In News: Carbon dating of excavated finds in Tamil Nadu pushes evidence of iron being used in India back to 4,200 years ago

  • Before this, the earliest evidence of iron use was from 1900-2000 BCE for the country, and from 1500 BCE for Tamil Nadu
  • The latest evidence dates the findings from Tamil Nadu to 2172 BCE.
  • The excavations are from Mayiladumparai near Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu, about 100 km south of Bengaluru.
  • Mayiladumparai is an important site with cultural material dating back between the Microlithic (30,000 BCE) and Early Historic (600 BCE) ages.
  • The site is situated in the midst of several archaeological sites such as Togarapalli, Gangavaram, Sandur, Vedarthattakkal, Guttur, Gidlur, Sappamutlu and Kappalavad etc. All these important archaeological sites lie within 10 km.

Timeline revisited

The dates when humans entered the Iron Age vary from one region of the world to another

  • In 1979, use of iron was traced to 1300 BCE at Ahar in Rajasthan.
  • Later, samples at Bukkasagara in Karnataka, indicating iron production, were dated back to 1530 BCE.
  • The date was subsequently pushed back to 1700-1800 BCE with excavations finding evidence of iron smelting at Raipura in the Mid-Ganga valley, and then to 1900-2000 BCE based on investigations in sites at Malhar near Varanasi and Brahmagiri in North Karnataka.
  • A series of dating results on finds from various parts in India have shown evidence of iron-ore technology before 1800 BCE.
  • Before the latest discovery, the earliest evidence of iron use for Tamil Nadu was from Thelunganur and Mangadu near Mettur, dating back to 1500 BCE.

Historical significance

  • With the latest evidence tracing our Iron Age to 2000 BCE from 1500 BC, we can assume that our cultural seeds were laid in 2000 BCE.
  • And the benefit of socio-economic changes and massive production triggered by the iron technology gave its first fruit around 600 BCE — the Tamil Brahmi scripts
  • The Tamil Brahmi scripts were once believed to have originated around 300 BCE, until a landmark finding in 2019 pushed the date back to 600 BCE.
  • This dating narrowed the gap between the Indus Valley civilization and Tamilagam/South India’s Sangam Age.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) Which one of the following is not a Harappan Site? (2019)

  1. Chanhudaro
  2. Kot Diji
  3. Sohagaura
  4. Desalpur

Source: Indian Express

Gaganyaan Mission

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  • Prelims – Science and Technology
  • Mains – GS 3 (Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights)

In News: ISRO tests booster for Gaganyaan

  • The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully carried out the static test of the HS200 solid rocket booster, taking the space agency one more steps closer to the keenly awaited Gaganyaan human spaceflight mission.
  • The test was held at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota
  • Designed and developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram
  • The HS200 booster is the ‘human-rated’ version of the S200 rocket boosters used on the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III), also called the LVM3.
  • The GSLV Mk-III rocket, which will be used for the Gaganyaan mission, will have two HS200 boosters that will supply the thrust for lift-off.
  • The HS200 is a 20-metre-long booster with a diameter of 3.2 metres and is the world’s second largest operational booster using solid propellants.
  • The successful completion of this test marks a major milestone for the prestigious human space flight mission of ISRO, the Gaganyaan, as the first stage of the launch vehicle is tested for its performance for the full duration
  • The control system used in the HS200 booster employs one of the world’s most powerful electro-mechanical actuators with multiple redundancy and safety features

Gaganyaan Mission

  • Gaganyaan is a mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to send a three-member crew to space for a period of five to seven days.

  • Launch Vehicle: ISRO’s Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk III (3 stages heavy-lift vehicle)
  • Components: Consists of a service module and a crew module, collectively known as an Orbital Module (Crew Module carries astronauts & Service Modules carries propellants.)
  • The Gaganyaan spacecraft will be placed in a low earth orbit (LEO) of 300-400 kilometres.
  • Vyom Mitra: ISRO to send humanoid Vyommitra in unmanned Gaganyaan spacecraft ahead of human spaceflight (Monitoring module parameters)

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk III

  • GSLV MkIII, is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO.
  • The vehicle has two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster and a cryogenic upper stage.
  • GSLV Mk III is designed to carry 4 ton class of satellites into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) or about 10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which is about twice the capability of the GSLV Mk II.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) With reference to India’s satellite launch  vehicles, consider the following statements (2018)

  1. PSLVs launch the satellites useful for Earth resources monitoring whereas GSLVs are designed mainly to launch communication satellites.
  2. Satellites launched by PSLV appear to remain permanently fixed in the same position in the sky, as viewed from a particular location on Earth.
  3. GSLV Mk III is a four-staged launch l vehicle with the first and third stages l using solid rocket motors; and the second and fourth stages using liquid rocket engines.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 2
  4. 3 only

Source: The Hindu

mRNA Vaccine

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  • Prelims – Science and Technology
  • Mains – GS 3 (Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology; Indigenization of Technology and Developing New Technology)

In News: The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has established the “proof of principle” (proof of concept) of the first indigenous mRNA vaccine technology

  • The replication is based on the Moderna model, but has been built with the information available in the open and our own technology and materials
  • While vaccines work by training the immune system to identify disease-causing micro-organisms and eliminate them quickly when they encounter them, in the mRNA technology, the host cell’s immune system is trained to evade the real infection.
  • This is done by introducing mRNA of the micro-organism of concern into the host.
  • The home-grown mRNA vaccine platform holds promise to deal with other infectious diseases such as TB, dengue, malaria, chikungunya, rare genetic diseases and others.

What are mRNA vaccines?

  • mRNA vaccines trick the body into producing some of the viral proteins itself.
  • They work by using mRNA, or messenger RNA, which is the molecule that essentially puts DNA instructions into action.
  • Inside a cell, mRNA is used as a template to build a protein

How it works?

  • To produce an mRNA vaccine, scientists produce a synthetic version of the mRNA that a virus uses to build its infectious proteins.
  • This mRNA is delivered into the human body, whose cells read it as instructions to build that viral protein, and therefore create some of the virus’s molecules themselves.
  • These proteins are solitary, so they do not assemble to form a virus.
  • The immune system then detects these viral proteins and starts to produce a defensive response to them.

Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

  • The Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) is a premier research organization which conducts high quality basic research and trainings in frontier areas of modern biology, and promotes centralized national facilities for new and modern techniques in the interdisciplinary areas of biology.
  • It was set up initially as a semi-autonomous Centre on April 1, 1977 with the Biochemistry Division of the then Regional Research Laboratory (presently, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, IICT) Hyderabad.
  • It is located in Hyderabad and operates under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • It is designated as “Center of Excellence” by the Global Molecular and Cell Biology Network, UNESCO.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) With reference to recent developments regarding ‘Recombinant Vector Vaccines’, consider the following statements: (2021)

  1. Genetic engineering is applied in the development of these vaccines.
  2. Bacteria and viruses are used as vectors.

Select the correct code:

  1. 1 Only
  2. 2 Only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2) What is the importance of using Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines in India? (2020)

  1. These vaccines are effective against pneumonia as well as meningitis and sepsis.
  2. Dependence on antibiotics that are not effective against drug-resistant bacteria can be reduced.
  3. These vaccines have no side effects and cause no allergic reactions.

Select the correct code:

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 2 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Source: The Hindu

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

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  • Prelims – Science and Technology
  • Mains – GS 3 (Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life)

In News: Amarnath Yatra pilgrims to be tracked through RFID tags

  • The movement of each Amarnath Yatra pilgrim will be tracked with the help of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags
  • The RFID tags will be provided by the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB). Registration of all pilgrims are done by the shrine board.

What is Radio Frequency Identification?

  • RFID is a type of passive wireless technology that allows for tracking or matching of an item or individual.
  • The system has two basic parts: Tags and Readers.
  • The reader gives off radio waves and gets signals back from the RFID tag, while the tag uses radio waves to communicate its identity and other information.
  • A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within the direct line-of-sight of the reader to be tracked.
  • The technology has been approved since before the 1970s but has become much more prevalent in recent years due to its usages in things like global supply chain management and pet microchipping.

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) With reference to visible light communication (VLC) technology, which of the following statements are correct? (2020)

  1. VLC uses electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths 375 to 780nm
  2. VLC is known as long-range optical wireless communication
  3. VLC can transmit large amounts of data faster than Bluetooth
  4. VLC has no electromagnetic interference

Select the correct code:

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 1, 2 and 4 only
  3. 1, 3 and 4 only
  4. 2, 3 and 4 only

Q.2) With reference to communication technologies, what is/are the difference/differences between LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution)?(2019)

  1. LTE is commonly marketed as 3G and VoLTE is commonly marketed as advanced 3G.
  2. LTE is data-only technology and VoLTE is voice-only technology.

Select the correct code:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Source: The Hindu

Article 311

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  • Prelims – Polity
  • Mains – GS 2 (Structure, Organization and Functioning of the Executive)

In News: Three government employees were terminated by the J&K Government under Article 311 2(c)

Article 311:

  • Article 311 (1) says that no government employee either of an all India service or a state government shall be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to the one that appointed him/her.
  • Article 311 (2) says that no civil servant shall be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which s/he has been informed of the charges and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.

People Protected under Article 311: The members of

  • Civil service of the Union,
  • All India Service, and
  • Civil service of any State,
  • People who hold a civil post under the Union or any State.
  • The protective safeguards given under Article 311 are applicable only to civil servants, i.e. public officers. They are not available to defence personnel.

Exceptions to Article 311 (2):

  • 2 (a) – Where a person is dismissed or removed or reduced in rank on the ground of conduct which has led to his conviction on a criminal charge; or
  • 2 (b) – Where the authority empowered to dismiss or remove a person or to reduce him in rank is satisfied that for some reason, to be recorded by that authority in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to hold such inquiry; or
  • 2 (c) – Where the President or the Governor, as the case may be, is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the State, it is not expedient to hold such inquiry

Source: Indian Express

Baba’s Explainer – NATO



  • GS-2: Policies and politics of developed and developing countries.
  • GS-2: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Why In News:

While countries were thinking about the security dynamics of Europe, Finland’s Prime Minister had insisted that her country was unlikely to join NATO even as Russian troops amassed on the Ukrainian border in February.

  • Three months and one invasion later, Finland is hurtling to join the alliance — a monumental shift for a nation with a long history of wartime neutrality and staying out of military alliances.
  • Sweden, another neutral Nordic country, is also so alarmed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that it is also now seriously considering joining NATO.

Read Complete Details on NATO – CLICK HERE

Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) Consider the following statements about Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV Mk III

  1. It is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle developed by ISRO
  2. The Upper stage of GSLV Mk III is known as the cryogenic stage
  3. The Gaganyaan spacecraft will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by GSLV Mk III

Choose the correct statements:

  1. 1 and 3
  2. 2 only
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 1 and 2

Q.2) Consider the following statements

  1. The Constitution empowers the President and the Governor to remove a government employee without an enquiry under interest of the security of the State
  2. The protective safeguards given under Article 311 are applicable to both Civil servants and defence personnel

Choose the correct code:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.3) With reference to mRNA vaccine, consider the following statements

  1. mRNA vaccines trick the body into producing some of the viral proteins itself
  2. These viral protein assemble to form a virus and triggers body’s defense mechanism
  3. mRNA vaccines cannot be used to treat genetic diseases

Choose the incorrect statements:

  1. 2 only
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 3 only
  4. None

ANSWERS FOR 14th MAY 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs

1 d
2 a
3 b


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