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Daily UPSC Current Affairs and Latest Daily News on IAS Prelims Bits

G.S I - Culture

Culture and Civilisation


Why in news?

Subject experts opine that there is a need for a new definition of a culture and civilisation.

What is the meaning of culture and civilisation?

  • Culture – The term ‘culture’ is a Latin origin of the world ‘cultus’, which refers to cultivating or refining something, in such a way that it provides admiration and respect.
  • It is the way people live, reflected in the language they spoke, food they eat, clothes they wear and the Diety they follow or worship.
  • It expresses the manner in which one thinks and do things.
  • Man-madePlants and animals do not have culture, while humans do as they are made by man.
  • When we became humans from apes, we started using tools, painting on cave walls, etc. invoking the birth of a culture.
  • There is no human who does not have a culture.
  • Relation with mythology – Culture is intertwined with mythology.

                    CultureVsMyth

  • Civilisation – The term ‘civilization’ is derived from a Latin term ‘civis’ which indicates ‘someone who resides in a town’.
  • Concept – It is a complex culture with hierarchy, complex organisations, and most importantly ruins of public buildings and monuments created from surplus resources. 
  • haracteristics – There are seven characteristics of a civilisation.
  • It includes the presence of a government, written language, language, religion, arts, food supply, technology and social structure

What is the relationship between a culture and civilisation?

 

Culture

Civilisation

Meaning

A term used to denote the manifestation of the manner in which we think, behave and act.

It refers to the process through which a region or society, outstretches an advanced stage of human development and organization.

Basis

It is more psychological and about values

It is more material and about goods, technology, art and architecture.

 

Components

It is a people’s belief systems, rituals and customs

It is a complex culture with hierarchy, complex organisations, and ruins of public buildings and monuments.

 

Representation

Culture is what we are

Civilisation is what we have

Reflected in

Religion, art, dance, literature, customs, morals, music, philosophy, etc.

Law, administration, infrastructure, architecture, social arrangement, etc.

Expression

Higher level of inner refinement

Higher level of general development

Interdependency

Culture can grow and exist without civilization

Civilization cannot grow and exist without culture

What can be the new definitions of culture and civilization?

  • Issues with existing definitions – A century ago, the Europeans used the word civilisation to distinguish themselves as a culture which had a complex structure with a hierarchy, cities and monuments.
  • But they saw themselves as civilised and the “other” as uncivilised. 
  • It assumed that only those who colonised and created class divisions have civilisation.
  • It implies that tribal folks have a culture but not civilisation which seems rather insulting.
  • Therefore, these old definitions need to be questioned.
  • New definitionEvery human has a culture that takes care of its own people, while a civilisation engages with other cultures through trade.
  • Transition from culture to civilisation – Stone Age cultures turned into Bronze Age civilisations as they began trading.
  • Metal and stones from mountains were exchanged with agricultural settlements in river valleys. 
  • Civilisation is thus measurably larger than culture, looking at the needs of not only the in-group but also of the out-group.

Trade system of Harappan civilisation

  • They traded with modern-day Iraq and Iran 4,500 years ago. 
  • Harappans exported via sea routes cotton textiles, sesame oil, ivory, beads made of carnelian, agate and other semi-precious stones, live chickens, water buffaloes, dogs.
  • In exchange, they received bitumen, incense, silver, copper, and woollen textiles.

Trade system of Andaman Tribe

  • The Jarawa tribe in Andaman does not trade and continues to remain isolated, it is not yet a civilisation.
  • But since they are humans, who use tools and have rites and rituals, they have a culture.

 

  • Having goods exemplifies the saying that civilisation is what we have, while the exchange mindset stands for who we are, our culture.
  • However, not all cultures have an exchange mindset, but the ones that have it become civilisation.
  • In other words, all civilisations are cultures, but not all cultures are civilisations.

Diversity in Indian Culture

  • Northwest India – Around 2500 BC, in the Northwest of India, the Harappan civilisation was thriving with its red and black pottery.
  • Ganges Plains – Around 1500 BC, the painted grey ware of Vedic culture thrived in the Gangetic Plain.
  • Deccan region – There were communities building megaliths and ashmounds, and hoarding copper artefacts.
  • This is culture because they are man-made.
  • But since we do not see a trading pattern, we cannot call them a civilisation.
  • Western coast – On the Ratnagiri coast of Maharashtra, 10,000 years old rock art was found.
  • These were made by cultured people.
  • But in the absence of knowledge about their trading pattern, we cannot say whether they had a civilisation.    

Reference

Indian Express| Culture and Civilisation

 

G.S II - Health

Biopharmaceutical Alliance


Why in news?

Recently, the biopharmaceutical alliance was launched to build a resilient supply chain in the biopharmaceutical sector.

What are Biopharmaceuticals?

  • Biopharmaceuticals are complex medicines made from living cells or organisms.
  • Production – They are often produced using cutting-edge biotechnological methods.

                       Biopharmaceuticals

  • Types – There are two classes of biopharmaceuticals.
  • Biologics – It include medicines that generally come from living organisms, which can include animal cells and microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria.
    • Insulin became the first biologic cleared for human use in 1982.
  • Biosimilar – It is a biologic that is highly similar to another biologic that is already patented (original biologic).
    • A human growth hormone was first biosimilar, which was approved in Europe.

              BiologicsAndBiosmilars

  • Biologics cannot be copied exactly, and so biosimilar are not identical to their original biologic.
  • Usage – They are potential for precise and targeted treatments, usually injected into the body.
  • Challenges – They tend to be heat sensitive and easy to contaminate.
  • They are difficult and expensive to make, store and transport.

What is Biopharmaceutical Alliance?

  • Need – There was a huge drug supply shortages seen during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The production of essential raw materials and ingredients of pharma products are concentrated in a few countries posing a greater risk in supply chain.
  • Formation – It was initially organized during the U.S.-Korea Critical and Emerging Technology Dialogue in 2022.
  • The first meeting of the Alliance was held in San Diego during the Bio International Convention 2024, the world’s largest biopharmaceutical exhibition.
  • MembersIndia, US, South Korea, Japan and the EU.
  • Primary focus – To identify and mitigate the weaknesses in the bio-pharmaceutical supply chain through advanced manufacturing technologies and robust research and development (R&D) initiatives.
  • Importance – It is a crucial step towards enhancing economic security and public health resilience on a global scale.

What are the key objectives of the Biopharmaceutical Alliance?

  • Building a resilient supply chain – It involves ensuring the production of essential raw materials and ingredients is diversified and not overly concentrated in a few regions.
  • Coordinating bio-policies and regulations – By harmonizing standards and procedures, it will facilitate smoother cross-border collaborations.
  • It may also reduce bureaucratic hurdles that can impede the swift delivery of critical biopharmaceutical products.
  • Supporting research and development – It places a strong emphasis on joint R&D efforts.
  • By pooling resources and expertise, the member countries intend to accelerate innovation in the biopharmaceutical field.
  • It also plans to ensure that new and effective treatments are developed and made accessible more rapidly.
  • Creating a detailed supply chain map – A comprehensive pharmaceutical supply chain mapping will identify critical nodes and potential points of failure within the supply chain.
  • This will enable the alliance to proactively address weakness and enhance the overall resilience.

What is Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA)?

  • It is an association of 23 leading research-based pharmaceutical companies in India, committed to patient care globally.
  • Formation – IPA began its journey in 1999 with six top drug makers - Cipla, Dr Reddy’s, Lupin, Piramal, Ranbaxy and Wockhardt - as its founding members.
  • Aim – To create a collaborative environment for the Indian pharma industry to discover, develop and deliver quality-assured medicines equitably.

                      IPA

  • Significance – It has evolved as the most potent voice for the Indian pharma industry, promoting high standards in pharmaceutical production and quality assurance.
  • IPA companies collectively account for
    • 85% of the private sector investment in pharmaceutical R&D
    • 80% of India’s exports of drugs & pharmaceuticals
    • 62% of the price controlled medicines
    • 60% of the domestic market sales

India's Pharmaceutical Sector

  • Market Size – It is currently valued at $50 Bn.
  • India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally, accounting for 20% of the global supply by volume.
  • Globally, India ranks 3rd in pharmaceutical production by volume.
  • Export market – India supplies
    • Over 50% of Africa’s requirement for generics
    • About 40% of generic demand in the US
    • About 25% of all medicine in the UK.
  • Vaccine market – India accounts for about 60% of global vaccine demand.
  • It is the leading supplier of DPT, BCG and Measles vaccines.
  • 70% of WHO’s vaccines (as per the essential Immunization schedule) are sourced from India. 
  • Measures – 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the pharmaceutical sector is allowed under the automatic route for Greenfield pharmaceuticals.
  • 100% FDI in the pharmaceutical sector is allowed in brownfield pharmaceuticals, wherein 74% is allowed under the automatic route and thereafter through the government approval route. 
  • The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme to boost domestic manufacturing and reduce dependency on imports.
  • The 'Pharma Vision 2020' aims to make India a global leader in end-to-end drug manufacturing. 

References 

  1. The Hindu | Biopharmaceutical Alliance
  2. FDA| Biopharmaceuticals
  3. IPA| Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance

Prelim Bits

UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 20-06-2024


Pro-tem Speaker of Lok Sabha

A senior Congress member is expected to be appointed as the pro-tem Speaker for the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha.

  • About - A pro-tem Speaker is ordinarily elected for the first sitting of a new legislative assembly where the Speaker is yet to be elected.
  • Origin of the term- Pro-tem is a Latin phrase which means “for the time being”.
  • Enshrined in - The Constitution does not mention the post, but the official 'Handbook on the Working of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs' details the 'Appointment and Swearing in of Speaker pro tem'.
  • Tenure- The Pro tem Speaker is a temporary speaker appointed for a limited period of time.
  • Oath-The president administers the oath of the office for the pro-tem speaker.
  • Normally, 3 other elected members of the Lok Sabha are also appointed by the President for the MPs to take oath before them.
  • They are administered the oath by the Speaker pro-tem in the Lok Sabha.
  • Duties- Under Article 188(1), it appears that a pro-tem Speaker only has the power to administer the oath to Assembly Members
    • The Pro-tem Speaker presides over the first sitting of the Lok Sabha, administers the oath of office to the newly elected MPs.
    • To conduct the vote for the speaker and deputy speaker.
    • On the election of new Speaker, the office of the pro tem speaker ceases to exist.
    • He also administers the floor test.

Quick Facts

  • Article 93 - Lok Sabha shall choose 2 members of the House to be the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. The Speaker is the Presiding Officer of Lok Sabha.
  • The Speaker and deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha is decided by a simple majority (more than 50% of members present and voting).
  • Article 94 - Speaker of the House of the People remain in office until just before the first meeting of the newly elected House following a dissolution.
  • Article 99 - Every member of either House of Parliament shall, before taking his seat, make and subscribe before the President according to the form set out for the purpose in the 3rd Schedule.

Reference

The Indian Express | Pro-tem Speaker

 

Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary is set to become the 2nd home for cheetahs in India, after the Kuno National Park.

  • Gandhi Sagar wildlife sanctuary is a sanctuary spread over the Gandhi Sagar dam backwater.
  • It was notified in 1974 and added to the list of sanctuary in 1984.
  • Location - The sanctuary is spread across the districts of Mandsaur and Neemuch in Western Madhya Pradesh.
  • This region is known a Nimar region which touches its border with Rajasthan.
  • Physiography- It sits atop a flat rocky plateau, with the Chambal River cutting the sanctuary into two almost equal halves.

The Chambal River is a tributary of the Yamuna River, Chambal rises in the Vindhya Range, Madhya Pradesh and thus forms part of the greater Gangetic drainage system.

Gandhi sagar wildlife sanctuary

  • Forest type- It has Savanna ecosystem (dry deciduous trees and shrubs) due to shallow topsoil.
  • Flora- It has trees like Salai, Kardhai, Dhawda, Tendu, Palash etc.
  • Fauna- It is knowns for some rare wildlife species like Wild Dogs (Dholes), Chinkara, Leopard, Otter, Mugger crocodile.

Chaturbhuj Nala rock shelters is situated within this sanctuary.

Quick Facts

  • Project Cheetah - To establish a viable cheetah (flagship species) metapopulation in India and provides space for the expansion of the cheetah within its historical range.

Reference

The Indian Express |Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary

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Keeping up with UPSC Current Affairs through IAS Parliament

Preparing for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination is a rigorous process that requires not just knowledge of various subjects but also a thorough understanding of current affairs. The UPSC syllabus covers a vast range of topics, and current affairs play a significant role in shaping the exam questions. Aspirants need to stay updated with the latest happenings in India and the world to crack the exam successfully. One of the most reliable sources of current affairs for UPSC is the IAS Parliament.

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