Prelim Bits 19-05-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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May 19, 2023


Developing a viable universal vaccine for dengue has remained a challenge.

  • Dengue is largely accepted as an annual epidemic in several countries and it is the world’s fastest-growing vector borne disease.
  • Dengue (break-bone fever) is a viral infection that spreads from mosquitoes to people.
  • Spread - It is more common in tropical and subtropical climates.
  • Transmission - Dengue is transmitted to humans by the Aedes mosquito species, which also spreads Chikungunya and Zika virus.
  • Types - There are four serotypes of the dengue virus - DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4.
  • Each virus interacts differently with antibodies in the human body and is capable of manifesting into dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.
  • Symptoms - mostly asymptomatic, but the most common symptoms are high fever, headache, body aches, nausea and rash.
  • Treatment - No specific treatment. Generally treated with pain medicine.
  • Vaccine - Dengvaxia was the first vaccine to receive a nod in 2015, and has been licensed in 20 countries since.
  • Dengvaxia - It is a live attenuated vaccine.
  • WHO recommends ‘Dengvaxia’ for children aged 9 to 16 years.
  • But Dengvaxia’s efficacy is limited to those with confirmed previous infections.
  • Dengvaxia is not licensed in India.
  • Five types of dengue vaccines are currently being investigated:
Vaccine Type Description Example
Live Attenuated Vaccine Uses the weakened or “attenuated” form of the virus Measles or chickenpox vaccine
Inactivated vaccine Uses the dead virus Hepatitis A and rabies
Recombinant subunit vaccine Non-structural proteins of the dengue virus are used, aiding a balanced immune response COVISHIELD
Viral vectored vaccine A modified, weakened version of a different virus Ebola vaccine
DNA vaccine Use engineered DNA to induce an immunologic response HIV, malaria, TB
  • Challenges in Vaccine development - Lack of research around different dengue types.
  • The evolving ‘inimitable’ nature of the virus making vaccine development a dynamic challenge.
  • Apprehensions over vaccine safety.
  • Lack of funding for a disease.


  1. The Hindu - Why is a viable dengue vaccine not yet available?
  2. WHO - Dengue and Severe Dengue

Dancing girl

The Prime Minister unveils Mascot of the International Museum Expo 2023 - the Chennapatnam style dancing girl.

  • The International Museum Expo is being organized as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate the 47th International Museum Day.
  • The Mascot of the International Museum Expo is a contemporized version of the Dancing Girl made of wood in the Channapattana art style.

Channapattana Toys

  • Channapattana is a place in Ramanagara district in Karnataka famous for handmade lacquer wooden toys.
  • The origin of the wooden toys date back to the period of Tipu Sultan.
  • Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, was a great admirer of wooden toys.
  • He invited artisans from Persia and trained the local artists to earn the process of making of the wooden toys.
  • The artisans still follow the traditional method of making the toys, using only ivory wood for making the toys.
  • Very rarely rosewood and sandalwood are used.
  • Now the artisans have also started to use other woods like teak, pine, rubber and cedar wood.
  • The colours used on these toys are vegetable dyes, non-toxic and safe for children.
  • Channapattana toys hold GI tag under Handicrafts category.


Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro

  • The 'Dancing Girl' belongs to the Indus Valley Civilization and dates back to 2500 BCE.
  • The dancing girl is a sculpture made of bronze.
  • The sculpture was made using the 'Lost Wax' method.
  • The statue is named the 'Dancing Girl' owing to her posture, with her right hand on the back of her hip and the left hand resting on her left thigh.
  • She is adorned by a necklace and some bangles.
  • Presently, it is on display in the Indus Valley Civilization gallery in the National Museum, New Delhi.


  1. PIB - PM inaugurates International Museum Expo 2023
  2. Government of Karnataka - Ramanagara District
  3. Indian Culture - Dancing Girl

Operation Karuna

India launched ‘Operation Karuna’ to assist Myanmar which has been devastated by Cyclone Mocha.

  • Super cyclone Mocha hit Bangladesh and Myanmar causing widespread devastation.
  • In Myanmar, Rakhine state is the worst-hit while in Bangladesh the Cox’s Bazar which shelters in the world’s largest refugee camp is worst-hit.
  • Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring Security and Growth for All in the Region and continues to be the first responder in the region during such calamities.
  • India launched 'Operation Karuna' to provide assistance to Mocha-hit Myanmar.
  • Indian Naval Ships Shivalik, Camorra and Savitri were the first naval ships to arrive at Yangon with relief material.
  • The fourth ship is also sent with relief material.
  • The ships are carrying emergency food items, tents, essential medicines, water pumps, portable generators, clothes, sanitary and hygiene items, etc.


  1. The Hindu - India launches ‘Operation Karuna’ to assist Myanmar
  2. News On Air - Cyclone Mocha: Operation Karuna

Quantum Biology

Quantum physics proposes a new way to study biology which could revolutionise our understanding of how life works.

  • Quantum biology is the application of quantum theory to aspects of biology that cannot be accurately described by the classical laws of physics.
  • Electrons, protons, excitations, chemical bonds, and electronic charges are by definition quantum.
  • Biology and biological processes often deal with electrons, protons and their transfer.
  • The protons and electrons are continuously being transferred between different parts of a cell or a macromolecular system.
  • In these transfer processes the system exchanges energy with its environment in the form of molecular vibrations and phonons.
  • Such a system is called an ‘open quantum system’.
  • The open quantum systems are connected to life and life processes.
  • Quantum biology aims to develop a consistent open quantum systems model to explain all these phenomena.
  • With open quantum system and quantum mechanics, there is a scope to understand life and life processes.


  1. The Hindu - Quantum physics proposes a new way to study biology
  2. The Royal Society - The future of quantum biology

Sendai Framework

India and Japan organized a side event during the High-level meeting of the midterm review of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030.

India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) participated in the Risk Reduction Hub Event held at UN headquarters in New York.

  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (Sendai Framework) is an international document on disaster risk reduction.
  • The framework provides Member States with concrete actions to protect development gains from the risk of disaster.
  • It was adopted at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, in 2015.
  • It is the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015.
  • The Sendai Framework outlines 4 specific priorities of action and 7 global targets to guide and against which to assess progress.
  • It focuses on the adoption of measures which address the 3 dimensions of disaster risk in order to prevent the creation of new risk, reduce existing risk and increase resilience.
  • UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework.

The 3 dimensions of disaster risk are exposure to hazards, vulnerability and capacity, and hazard’s characteristics.



  1. PIB - Midterm review of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
  2. UNDRR - Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030
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