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PIB 22nd May

Contents

  1. UMANG Application
  2. OCI cardholders: Visa and Travel restrictions eased
  3. IASST platform: Detecting Carcinogenic & Mutagenic compounds

UMANG APPLICATION

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

7 services hosted on web site of IMD have been onboarded to UMANG Application.

Details about the Umang App

  • UMANG is a Government of India all-in-one single, unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-lingual, multi-service mobile app, powered by a robust back-end platform providing access to high impact services of various organization (Central and State).
  • The Prime Minister launched the UMANG App in 2017 to bring all government services on a single mobile app, with a larger goal to make the government accessible on the mobile phone of our citizens. About 660 services from 127 department & 25 states, including utility payments are live and more are in pipeline.
  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) has taken various initiatives in recent years for improvement in dissemination of weather forecast and warning services based on latest tools and technologies. To further enhance this initiative, IMD has taken the leverage of Digital India Programme to utilise “UMANG App”.
  • The app, available for both Android and iOS devices would give users access to most of the government services. It includes scholarships, women safety, health care, e-District, Passport Seva and others.

OCI CARDHOLDERS: VISA AND TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS EASED

Focus: GS-II Governance, Prelims

Why in news?

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has relaxed Visa and Travel restrictions imposed in response to COVID -19, permitting certain categories of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders, who are stranded abroad, to come to India.

Details

Following categories of OCI Cardholders stranded abroad, have been permitted to come to India:

  1. Minor children born to Indian nationals abroad and holding OCI cards.
  2. OCI cardholders who wish to come to India on account of family emergencies like death in family.
  3. Couples where one spouse is an OCI cardholder and the other is an Indian national and they have a permanent residence in India.
  4. University students who are OCI cardholders (not legally minors) but whose parents are Indian citizens living in India.

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)

  • An Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) is a person who is technically a citizen of another country having an Indian origin.
  • They are defined as a person who: Was a citizen of India on or after 26th January 1950; or Was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January 1950; or Is a child or grandchild of such a person, among other eligibility criteria.
  • According to Section 7A of the OCI card rules, an applicant is not eligible for the OCI card if he, his parents or grandparents have ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh.
  • The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Scheme was introduced by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005 in response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora, particularly in developed countries.
  • Multi-purpose and life-long visa are provided to the registered Overseas Citizen of India for visiting India and are also exempted from registration with Foreign Regional Registration Officer or Foreign Registration Officer for any length of stay in India.

Benefits to OCI Card Holders

  • OCI cardholders can enter India multiple times, get a multipurpose lifelong visa to visit India, and are exempt from registering with Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).
  • If an individual is registered as an OCI for a period of five years, he/she is eligible to apply for Indian citizenship.
  • At all Indian international airports, OCI cardholders are provided with special immigration counters.
  • OCI cardholders can open special bank accounts in India, buy the non-farm property and exercise ownership rights and can also apply for a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card.

LIMITATIONS on OCI Card Holders. What do OCI miss out on compared to normal Citizens?

  • They are not covered by Right to equality of opportunity under article 16 of the Constitution with regard to public employment.
  • They lack the benefit of Right for election as President and Vice-President under article 58 and article 66 respectively.
  • They are not entitled to the rights under article 124 and article 217 of the Constitution.
  • They are not given Right to register as a voter under section 16 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950(43 of 1950).
  • They Lack Rights with regard to the eligibility for being a member of the State Council/Legislative Assembly/Legislative Council.
  • They are not eligible for appointment to the posts of Public Services and Union Affairs of any State.
  • They cannot purchase agricultural or farmland.
  • They cannot travel to restricted areas without government permission.

IASST PLATFORM: DETECTING CARCINOGENIC & MUTAGENIC COMPOUNDS

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology

Why in news?

Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), has developed an electrochemical sensing platform for detecting carcinogenic or mutagenic compound N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA) sometimes found in food items like cured meat, bacon, some cheese, and low-fat milk.

Details

  • The electrochemical biosensor platform was developed using the ability of NDMA and NDEA, to alter the DNA.
  • It was achieved by developing a modified electrode by immobilizing carbon nanomaterials (carbon dots) in DNA.
  • Carbon dots (CDs), a carbon-based nanomaterial, was used.

Why was it necessary?

  • The scientists pointed out that with changing food habits of urban Indians, they are exposed to harmful chemicals belonging to Nitrosamine family in cured meats, bacon, some cheese, low-fat dry milk, and fish.
  • Such chemicals include carcinogenic ones like NDMA and NDEA, which may also alter the chemical composition of our DNA.
  • Hence it is important to develop detection techniques to detect them.

Carcinogens

  • A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that promotes carcinogenesis, the formation of cancer.
  • This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes.
  • Cancer is any disease in which normal cells are damaged and do not undergo programmed cell death as fast as they divide via mitosis.
  • Carcinogens may increase the risk of cancer by altering cellular metabolism or damaging DNA directly in cells, which interferes with biological processes, and induces the uncontrolled, malignant division, ultimately leading to the formation of tumors.

What can cause cancer?

  • Several radioactive substances are considered carcinogens, but their carcinogenic activity is attributed to the radiation, for example gamma rays and alpha particles, which they emit.
  • Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds, benzene, kepone, EDB, and asbestos have all been classified as carcinogenic.
  • Industrial smoke and tobacco smoke were identified as sources of dozens of carcinogens.
  • There are many natural carcinogens. Aflatoxin B1, which is produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus growing on stored grains, nuts and peanut butter, is an example of a potent, naturally occurring microbial carcinogen.
  • Certain viruses such as hepatitis B and human papilloma virus have been found to cause cancer in humans.

Classification of Carcinogens

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