Today Current Affairs 19 January 2022

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Vitamin D Deficiency and Muscle Dysfunction

Recent research examined the biochemical basis of muscle dysfunction in mice lacking vitamin D.

About

  • Typically, the glucose consumed during meals is converted to glycogen and stored in the skeletal muscle.
  • Once the food has been digested, the muscles use this stored energy reserve to generate energy.
  • Skeletal muscles continued to produce glycogen in the absence of vitamin D but were unable to convert it to glucose (a usable form of energy).
  • When glycogen stores are depleted, particularly during the post-absorb stage, skeletal muscle absorbs an increased amount of glucose from the blood. As a result, widespread energy scarcity occurs.
  • When the systemic energy supply is depleted, muscle protein breakdown begins, resulting in muscular wasting.
  • This demonstrates that a vitamin D deficiency depletes the skeletal muscles, resulting in muscle atrophy.

Vitamin D’s Purposes

  • Vitamin D is a hormone that is involved in a wide variety of metabolic processes.
  • It is necessary for the proper functioning of metabolic processes, the immune system, and bone health, as well as for the prevention and treatment of depression, mood swings, anxiety, and poor sleep quality.
  • Proteins produced in our bodies decay and are eventually replaced by new proteins as part of the normal metabolic process
  • When protein synthesis exceeds protein breakdown, skeletal muscle atrophy or simply a loss of muscle mass frequently occurs. This is what happens when there is a Vitamin D deficiency.

Solar Waste Report

Why in the News: 

  • India’s National Solar Energy Federation estimates that the country will generate more than 34,600 tonnes of solar waste cumulatively by 2030.
  • Solar garbage is electronic waste that results from the disposal of solar panels.
  • It is disposed of in India. In the next decade, it has the potential to more than double.
  • Solar panel manufacturing frequently necessitates the use of a variety of hazardous substances.
  • Solar panels have a useful life of approximately twenty to thirty years.
  • Since solar panels were introduced in the 2000s, thousands have reached the end of their useful life.
  • Due to the difficulty of properly disposing of the hazardous metals contained in solar cells, it is frequently more cost effective to dump them in landfills or export them to developing countries.
  • As solar panels decompose in landfills, their toxic metals may leach into the environment, posing a potential public health risk if they contaminate groundwater.

India’s module technologies

  • Crystallised silicon (C-Si) and thin-film (mostly cadmium telluride) are the two most prevalent module technologies in India, with 93 and 7% market shares, respectively. • Both methods have an 85-90 percent recovery rate.
  • However, the significant cost differential between recycling and landfill disposal is one of the reasons panels are not recycled sufficiently.
  • The issue of solar waste was not addressed in the 2016 electronic waste disposal legislation.
  • As a result, India’s focus should be on the development of comprehensive standards for solar waste management.
  • Solar panel trash landfills are prohibited.
  • Creating new business models, offering incentives, or issuing green certifications to entice the recycling sector to participate more fully.
  • Design innovations have the potential to influence the type of waste generated; technological advancements will be critical in reducing the impact of renewable energy waste.

Kathak and Pandit Birju Maharaj:

Birju Maharaj, the renowned Kathak dancer credited with introducing the ancient Indian dance form ‘Kathak’ to the international stage, recently passed away.

  • He was one of the most renowned and adored performers in India. He was a member of the Kalka-Bindadin gharana, a traditional Kathak dance style based in Lucknow. He was born on February 4, 1938, in Lucknow.
  • He was presented with the Padma Vibhushan, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Kalidas Samman in 1983.

Concerning Kathak

  • Kathak is unique in that it is inextricably linked to Hindustani or North Indian music. Both have developed in lockstep, with one feeding and nurturing the other. (Odissi dance is accompanied by Odissi music, a Hindustani-Carnatic fusion.)
  • Kathak is a significant form of ancient Indian classical dance that is traditionally attributed to North Indian travelling bards known as Kathakars or storytellers.

Prime Minister Gati Shakti— National Master Plan

Why in the News:

• A widespread lack of coordination and cooperation among agencies has hampered India’s ability to complete infrastructure projects on time. Often, these projects have been delayed, resulting in significant cost increases.

The following is a summary of the country’s ongoing projects:

  • According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) of the Government of India, by the beginning of 2021, 1,687 Union Government projects worth more than Rs 21.45 lakh crore had incurred a cost overrun of approximately 20%, owing primarily to project delays.
  • Delays can be attributed to a miscalculation of the project’s initial cost, spiralling land acquisition costs, delays obtaining environmental, forest, and wildlife clearances and industrial licencing permission, pipeline/transmission line road crossings, utility relocation, delays securing project financing, and delays finalising detailed engineering.

GatiShakti is a digital platform that was launched in 2020 and unites 16 ministries
— Roads and Highways, Railways, Shipping, Petroleum and Gas, Power, Telecom, Shipping, and Aviation. Its objective is to ensure that infrastructure projects are planned and executed holistically.

  • Under PM Gati Shakti, several Union and State Government Ministries will fund infrastructure projects worth more than Rs 500 crore, including Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, and UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik — subsidies to ease air travel).

Services rendered:

  • The site will contain 200 layers of geospatial data, including information about existing infrastructure such as roads, highways, trains, and toll plazas, as well as geographic data about forests, rivers, and district boundaries, to aid in planning and securing clearances.
  • Additionally, the site will allow various government agencies to track the progress of various projects, particularly those with cross-sector and cross-regional implications, in real time and from a central location.
  • The objective is to ensure that “every department now has visibility into the actions of the others, providing critical data for planning and implementing initiatives.”
  • Several departments would be able to prioritise their tasks as a result of cross-sectoral contacts.”
  • Additionally, it will enhance last-mile connectivity while lowering logistical costs through integrated planning and the elimination of implementation overlap.

National e-commerce policy

Why is this in the news?

  • The government is in the process of updating and possibly softening the draught National E-commerce Policy.

At least two previous draughts of E-commerce policies have been prepared. They were not, however, implemented as policy due to opposition from key government agencies.

What will be the purpose of the next draught National E-commerce Policy?

  • The goal is to regulate India’s e-commerce industry in order to improve marketplace transparency and level the playing field for traditional offline merchants.

The regulation will apply to all digital and electronic platforms that facilitate the purchase and sale of products and services, including shopping channels on television, websites, and social media platforms.

Which provisions are the most important in the soon-to-be-released Draft National E-commerce Policy?

  • To begin, e-commerce businesses would be required to hire officials to ensure compliance with domestic laws and to respond fairly and expeditiously to any complaints.
  • Second, no marketplace has the right to exercise control over the items offered on its platform. Additionally, such businesses are prohibited from selling their goods to merchants registered on their platform, either directly or indirectly. Furthermore, they cannot compel a seller to sell exclusively through their platform.

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