Q. ‘Project Loon’, sometimes seen in the news, is related to

(a) waste management technology

(b) wireless communication technology

(c) solar power production technology

(d) water conservation technology

Answer: (b) wireless communication technology

Project Loon
  • Project Loon is a pilot project developed by Google LLC. It is aimed at providing the internet by using balloons that would trace the earth.
  • Project Loon was developed with the aim of providing economic internet access across the world. It is a research and development (RnD) project that is developed by Google.
  • It comprises a network of balloons that would float above in the stratosphere higher than the airplanes and the weather. The Balloons are carried across the globe with the wind that is used to direct the direction of the balloons.
  • People using this technology would be able to set up a connection with the balloons using antennas attached to their buildings.

Q. Which of the following statements is/are correct?

Viruses can infect

  1. bacteria
  2. fungi
  3. plants

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (d) 1, 2 and 3

  • Viruses can infect almost any kind of host that has living cells. Animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria etc. can get infected by a virus.
  • They’re a small piece of genetic information (DNA or RNA) inside of a protective shell (capsid). Some viruses also have an envelope.
  • Viruses can’t reproduce without a host. It can replicate only inside the living cells of an organism.
  • Viruses infect all types of life forms.
    • bacteriophage is a virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium. 
    • Mycoviruses are viruses that infect fungi.
    • A host of other Viruses affect plants.

Q. Consider the following statements:

The Mangalyaan launched by ISRO

  1. is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission
  2. made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after USA
  3. made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (c) 1 and 3 only

  • The Rs 450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission was launched onboard PSLV-C25 on 5th November, 2013, and the MOM spacecraft was successfully inserted into the Martian orbit in September, 2014 in its first attempt.
  • Mangalyaan was India’s first interplanetary mission.
  • The mission made India the first Asian country, and the fourth in the world after RoscosmosNASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and the European Space Agencyto get to the planet.
    • China referred to India’s successful Mangalyaan as the “Pride of Asia”.
  • Description:
    • It carried 850 kg of fuel and 5 science payloads including a Mars Color Camera (MCC) which it was using to study the Martian surface and atmosphere since entering orbit successfully.
      • The highly elliptical orbit geometry of MOM enabled MCC to take snapshots of the ‘Full disc’ of Mars at its farthest point and finer details from the closest point.
      • The MCC has produced more than 1000 images and published a Mars Atlas.
    • Other instruments are: Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (TIS), Methane Sensor for Mars (MSM), Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) and Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP).
  • Objectives:
    • It was aimed at studying the Martian atmosphere.
    • To explore Martian surface features, mineralogy, morphology and atmosphere using indigenous scientific instruments.
    • A crucial objective of MOM was to develop technologies required in planning, designing, management and operations of an interplanetary mission.
  • Mars Orbiter Mission 2 (MOM 2), is a proposed second mission to Mars by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Mangalyaan-2 will only be an orbiter mission.
  • Mars Orbiter Mission-2 will carry four payloads to inspect certain characteristics of the Mars including its atmosphere, environment and the interplanetary dust.

Q. With reference to ‘Astrosat’, the astronomical observatory launched by India, which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. Other than USA and Russia, India is the only country to have launched a similar observatory into space.
  2. Astrosat is a 2000 kg satellite placed in an orbit at 1650 km above the surface of the Earth.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d) Neither 1 nor 2

  • AstroSat is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space telescope.
  • It is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical, and UV spectral bands simultaneously.
  • AstroSat, with a lift-off mass of 1515 kg, was launched by the Indian launch vehicle PSLV from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, on September 28, 2015, into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 degrees to the equator.
  • The spacecraft control center at Mission Operations Complex (MOX) of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bengaluru, manages the satellite during its entire mission life. 
  • The minimum useful life of the AstroSat mission is around 5 years.
  • Scientific Objectives:
    • To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes.
    • Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars.
    • Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy.
    • Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky.
    • Perform a limited deep-field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region.
  • XPoSat (X-ray Polarimeter Satellite) is India’s first dedicated polarimetry mission to study various dynamics of bright astronomical X-ray sources in extreme conditions.
    • This study is crucial for understanding the physics behind these celestial bodies.
  • Payloads:
    • The spacecraft will carry two scientific payloads in a low earth orbit. The primary payload POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) will measure the polarimetry parameters (degree and angle of polarization) in medium X-ray energy range of 8-30 keV photons of astronomical origin. The XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing) payload will give spectroscopic information in the energy range of 0.8-15 keV.
  • Development:
    • Entirely built by two Bengaluru-based institutes—ISRO’s UR Rao Satellite Centre and Raman Research Institute—XPoSat’s development began in 2008, with a formal agreement signed with ISRO in 2015.
  • Global Context:
    • XPoSat is only the world’s second mission dedicated to X-ray polarization in the medium X-ray band. NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), launched in 2021, was the first such mission by a space agency.
  • National Contribution:
    • XPoSat will be India’s third space-based observatory, following the recently launched solar mission Aditya-L1 and AstroSat, which was launched in 2015. Its launch is seen as a significant stride for Indian astronomy and space research.

Q. Which one of the following is the best description of ‘INS Astradharini’, that was in the news recently?

(a) Amphibious warfare ship

(b) Nuclear-powered submarine

(c) Torpedo launch and recovery vessel

(d) Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

Answer: (c) Torpedo launch and recovery vessel

INS Astradharini
  • INS Astradharini is an indigenously built Torpedo Launch and Recovery Vessel.
  • It was commissioned on 6th October 2015.
  • The ship has modern power generation and distribution, navigation and communication systems.
  • The vessel is capable to do speeds up to 15 Knots.
INS Imphal
  • INS Imphal is one of the four ‘Project 15 Bravo Vishakhapatnam class’ guided missile destroyers.
  • INS Imphal is among “the most technologically advanced guided missile destroyers in the world.
  • Features:
    • The ship measures 163m in length, and 17m in breadth with a displacement of 7,400 tonnes and is amongst the most potent warships built in India.
    • It is propelled by four powerful Gas Turbines, in a Combined Gas and Gas configuration, and is capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots.
    • It is capable of launching the BrahMos cruise missile, the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile.
    • The ship is also equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare conditions.
    • It is armed with sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including Surface-to-Surface Missiles, Surface-to-Air Missiles, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) rocket launchers and Torpedo launchers, ASW helicopters, radars, sonar and Electronic Warfare systems.

Q. India is an important member of the ‘International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor’. If this experiment succeeds, what is the immediate advantage of India?

(a) It can use thorium in place of uranium for power generation.

(b) It can attain a global role in satellite navigation

(c) It can drastically improve the efficiency of its fission reactors in power generation

(d) It can build fusion reactors for power generation

Answer: (d) It can build fusion reactors for power generation

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
  • International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor is an international collaborative project for advancing magnetic fusion that includes 35 countries – the United States, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Russian Federation, and the European Union, launched in 1985.
    • It is located in France.
  • It will not produce any electricity; instead, ITER will resolve the critical scientific and technical issues to take fusion to the point where industrial applications can be envisioned.
  • The project is based on fusion which is also an energy source for the Sun and stars.
    • Every fusion reaction in the Sun, in which two hydrogen atoms fuse into one helium atom, releases two neutrinos.
  • It aims to build the world’s largest tokamak to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.
    • The tokamak is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy of fusion. Inside a tokamak, the energy produced through the fusion of atoms is absorbed as heat in the walls of the vessel. Like a conventional power plant, a fusion power plant uses this heat to produce steam and then electricity by way of turbines and generators.
  • Objectives of ITER:
    • To investigate and demonstrate burning Plasma (Self-heating plasma)
      • In a burning plasma, heat from the fusion is confined within the plasma itself efficiently enough for self-heating.
      • ITER is the first burning plasma device in the world.
    • To attain fusion gain of more than 10 for a longer duration of 400 to 600 seconds
      • It intends to deliver ten times more thermal power (500 MW) than injected power heating systems (50 MW), thus attaining a gain factor of at least 10.
      • Fusion gain (Q) is the measure of the ratio between the power produced by the fusion reactions and the external heating power that must be injected in a tokamak to sustain the reactions.
    • Test tritium breeding
      • The validity of tritium breeding module concepts that would lead in a future reactor to tritium self-sufficiency by producing tritium from lithium (lithium isotope Li-6).
    • Demonstrate the safety characteristics of a fusion device
    • Contribute to the demonstration of the integrated operation of technologies for a fusion power plant.
  • Significance of ITER:
    • Of all the magnetic confinement technology (tokamaks and stellarators), ITER is the most advanced version. The various significance of the ITER are as follows:
      • Energy for the future: ITER is the experimental bridge between today’s fusion machines, focused on and tomorrow’s power plants based on nuclear fusion, the energy without GHG emission (Fossil fuels) and radiation (Fission reactor).
      • Longevity: In the last 60 years of research on harnessing fusion energy, this is the first time that we have reached the threshold of “burning plasma”. Once successful, the longevity of tokamak will be up to 400 to 600 seconds, which is much more than the current scenario.
      • Sustainability: ITER aims to ensure a higher Fusion gain (Q) of more than 10, which increases its potential for sustainability.
      • Study of plasma physics: The success of ITER will further encourage the pursuance of the study of Plasma physics which will add another dimension to plasma-based technology.

Q. In the context of the developments in Bioinformatics, the term ‘transcriptome’, sometimes seen in the news, refers to

(a) a range of enzymes used in genome editing

(b) the full range of mRNA molecules expressed by an organism

(c) the description of the mechanism of gene expression

(d) a mechanism of genetic mutation taking place in cells

Answer: (b) the full range of mRNA molecules expressed by an organism

  • Bioinformatics, as related to genetics and genomics, is a scientific subdiscipline that involves using computer technology to collect, store, analyze and disseminate biological data and information, such as DNA and amino acid sequences or annotations about those sequences.
  • Bioinformatics uses biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, computer programming, information engineering, mathematics and statistics to analyze and interpret biological data. The subsequent process of analyzing and interpreting data is referred to as computational biology.
  • Scientists and clinicians use databases that organize and index such biological information to increase our understanding of health and disease and, in certain cases, as part of medical care.
  • Transcriptome refers to the protein-coding part of an organism’s genome.
  • It is set of RNA molecules such as messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), and other noncoding RNA molecules that are present in cells or tissue type.
    • A genome is the collection of all DNA present in the nucleus and the mitochondria of a somatic cell while the initial product of genome expression in the transcriptome.
    • In contrast with the genome, which is characterized by its stability, the transcriptome actively changes.
    • An organism’s transcriptome varies depending on many factors, including the stage of development and environmental conditions.
  • Therefore, as mRNA is further translated into proteins, transcriptome can be seen as precursor of proteome (set of proteins expressed by an organism). In order to study the transcriptome of an organism, complementary DNA (cDNA) is synthesized using mRNA as template. mRNA can be isolated from different tissues of an organism at various time intervals to be able to capture maximum number of genes expressed in an organism in one time.
  • Transcriptome data obtained from different types of cells can help researchers to gain a deeper understanding of what constitutes a specific cell type, how that type of cell normally functions, and how changes in the normal level of gene activity may reflect or contribute to disease. Furthermore, by aligning the transcriptome of each cell type to the genome, it is possible to generate a comprehensive, genome-wide picture of the gene expression.

Q. With reference to pre-packed items in India, it is mandatory to the manufacturer to put which of the following information on the main label, as per the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation, 2011?

  1. List of ingredients including additives
  2. Nutrition information
  3. Recommendations, if any, made by the medical profession about the possibility of any allergic reaction
  4. Vegetarian/non-vegetarian

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only
(c) 1, 2 and 4 only
(d) 1 and 4 only

Answer: (c) 1, 2 and 4 only

Food Labelling
  • Every package of food shall carry the following information on the label, namely-
    • The Name of Food
    • List of Ingredients including additives
    • Nutritional information
    • Declaration regarding Veg or Non-veg
    • Declaration regarding Food Additives 
    • Name and complete address of the manufacturer
    • Net quantity
    • Date of manufacture or packing 
    • Lot/Code/Batch identification
    • Best Before and Use By Date
    • Country of origin for imported food
    • Instructions for use
  • Information about Allergic reactions made by the medical profession is not mandatory on the food packets.
  • While FSSAI had ensured that food manufacturers disclose such vital nutritional information over these years, such data often get placed on the back of the packaging. In many cases, consumers find it difficult to interpret the labels.
    • Hence, in February 2022, three important decisions were taken regarding FoP (Front of Package) labelling:
      • The threshold levels of sugar, salt and fat in food products beyond which it would be considered as ‘high’
      • The FoP norms are to be voluntary for 4 years, after which it would become mandatory.
      • Implementation of a health star rating system
        • This system was designed based on an FSSAI-commissioned study, implemented by IIM-Ahmedabad.
        • In this system, a product’s nutrition profile would be indicated by a star rating scale, ranging from half a star to 5 stars.
    • In September, the FSSAI released a draft amendment of the 2020 Food Safety and Standards (Labelling & Display) Regulations, for introducing FoP labelling norms:
      • The draft called for the implementation of the Indian Nutrition Rating (INR) system, based on the health star rating concept.
      • The INR is calculated based on contribution/ 100 g of solid food (100 ml in case of liquids):
        • Energy
        • Saturated fats
        • Total sugar
        • Sodium
        • Positive nutrients
      • Based on the INR, the product is to be rated between half a star (least healthy) to 5 stars (healthiest) which is displayed in close proximity to the product’s name/ brand name on the front of the package.
      • The norms won’t be covering certain products like:
        • Milk and milk-based products
        • Egg-based desserts
        • Instant formula
        • Salad and sandwich spreads
        • Alcoholic beverages
    • In November, FSSAI released the draft norms for regulating GM foods:
      • Food products containing 1% or more of genetically modified ingredients are to carry FoP labels.
      • The labelling norms would also apply to products with “adventitious or technically unavoidable presence of GM ingredients”.
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous statutory body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act).
    • Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the administrative Ministry of FSSAI.
    • Headquarters: Delhi.
  • Structure of FSSAI:
    • The FSSAI comprises of a Chairperson and twenty two members out of which one – third are to be women.
    • The Chairperson of FSSAI is appointed by the Central Government.
    • The Food Authority is assisted by Scientific Committees and Panels in setting standards and the Central Advisory Committee in coordinating with enforcement agencies.
    • The primary responsibility for enforcement is largely with the State Food Safety Commissioners.
  • Functions of FSSAI:
    • Framing of regulations to lay down the standards and guidelines of food safety.
    • Granting FSSAI food safety license and certification for food businesses.
    • Laying down procedure and guidelines for laboratories in food businesses.
    • To provide suggestions to the government in framing the policies.
    • To collect data regarding contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert system.
    • Creating an information network across the country about food safety.
    • Promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
  • FSSAI Legislative Framework:
    • Highlights of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006
      • The Act aims to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards, by moving from multi- level, multi-departmental control to a single line of command.
      • The Act established FSSAI and the State Food Safety Authorities for each State.
    • Highlights of Food Safety and Standards Rule, 2011. The Rules provides for:
      • The Food Safety Appellate Tribunal and the Registrar of the Appellate Tribunal, for adjudication of food safety cases.
    • Highlights of Food Safety and Standards Regulations 2011
      • It covers Licensing and Registration, Packaging and Labelling of Food Businesses, Food Product Standards and Food Additives Regulation.
      • It prohibits and restricts on sales or approval for Non-Specified Food and Food Ingredients, such ingredients may cause harm to human health.
      • It provides for Food Safety and Standards on Organic Food and regulates Food Advertising.

Q. With reference to ‘LiFi’, recently in the news, which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. It uses light as the medium for high speed data transmission.
  2. It is a wireless technology and several times faster than ‘WiFi’.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c) Both 1 and 2

LiFi (Light Fidelity)
  • LiFi (Light Fidelity) is a wireless communication technology that uses visible light, particularly LED bulbs, to transmit data.
    • It was first demonstrated in 2011 by Professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, who also coined the term LiFi.
  • It provides high-speed, bidirectional, networked mobile communication in a similar manner as WiFi but with higher speeds, lower latency, and a larger bandwidth (thousands of terahertz).
  • LiFi has the advantage of being useful in electromagnetic-sensitive areas like aircraft cabins, hospitals, and nuclear power plants without causing electromagnetic interference. Its utilisation of unused visible lights in human life has opened up new opportunities in wireless communications technology.
TechnologyVisible Light CommunicationRadio waves
Frequency Band430 – 770 THz2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
Max SpeedUp to 224 GbpsUp to 54 Mbps (802.11ax)
LatencyLow, <1 msMedium, >10 ms
SecurityHigh, confined to the area illuminatedMedium, can penetrate walls
Energy EfficiencyHigh, uses LEDsMedium
ReliabilityHigh, less interferenceProne to interference
Mobility SupportLimited, needs line of sightGood
Outdoor useChallenging due to sunlightExcellent
Health hazardNoneConcerns about radiofrequency radiation
Deployment costsLow, leverages lighting infrastructureHigh for WiFi routers

Q. With reference to ‘Bitcoins’, sometimes seen in the news, which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. Bitcoins are tracked by the Central Banks of the countries.
  2. Anyone with a Bitcoin address can send and receive Bitcoins from anyone else with a Bitcoin address.
  3. Online payments can be sent without either side knowing the identity of the other.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: (b) 2 and 3 only

  • Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone. Bitcoin was introduced in 2009. Bitcoin is based on an open-source protocol and is not issued by any central authority.
  • Use:
    • Originally, Bitcoin was intended to provide an alternative to fiat money and become a universally accepted medium of exchange directly between two involved parties.
  • Record of Bitcoins (Blockchain):
    • All the transactions ever made are contained in a publicly available, open ledger, although in an anonymous and an encrypted form called a blockchain.
      • Transactions can be denominated in sub-units of a Bitcoin.
        • Satoshi is the smallest fraction of a Bitcoin.
  • Acquiring Bitcoins:
    • One can either mine a new Bitcoin if they have the computing capacity, purchase them via exchanges, or acquire them in over-the-counter, person-to-person transactions.
    • Miners are the people who validate a Bitcoin transaction and secure the network with their hardware.
      • The Bitcoin protocol is designed in such a way that new Bitcoins are created at a fixed rate.
      • No developer has the power to manipulate the system to increase their profits.
      • One unique aspect of Bitcoin is that only 21 million units will ever be created.
    • Bitcoin exchange functions like a bank where a person buys and sells Bitcoins with traditional currency. Depending on the demand and supply, the price of a Bitcoin keeps fluctuating.
  • Bitcoin Regulation:
    • The supply of bitcoins is regulated by software and the agreement of users of the system and cannot be manipulated by any government, bank, organisation or individual.
    • Bitcoin was intended to come across as a global decentralised currency, any central authority regulating it would effectively defeat that purpose.
    • It needs to be noted that multiple governments across the world are investing in developing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), which are digital versions of national currencies.
  • A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security.
  • It is a decentralized currency, meaning it is not controlled by any government or institution.
  • Some examples of cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
  • Transactions with cryptocurrency are recorded on a public digital ledger called blockchain.
    • This ledger is maintained by a network of computers around the world, and each new transaction is verified and added to the blockchain by these computers.
    • This decentralization and use of cryptography make it difficult for anyone to manipulate the currency or the transactions recorded on the blockchain.
  • To use cryptocurrency, individuals or businesses must first acquire a digital wallet, which is a software program that stores the user’s public and private keys.
    • These keys are used to send and receive cryptocurrency, and they are also used to verify transactions on the blockchain.
  • Users can acquire cryptocurrency through a process called “mining” which involves using computer power to solve complex mathematical equations, which validate and record transactions on the blockchain, in return for a certain amount of cryptocurrency.
Blockchain Technology
  • Blockchain technology is a decentralized, digital ledger that records transactions across a network of computers.
  • Each block in the chain contains a number of transactions, and every time a new transaction occurs on the blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to every participant’s ledger.
    • The decentralized nature of technology ensures that no single entity can alter or delete previous transactions, providing a high degree of security and transparency.
  • Blockchain is the foundation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but it has many potentials uses beyond digital currencies.

Q. What is ‘Greased Lightning-10 (GL-10)’, recently in the news?

(a) Electric plane tested by NASA

(b) Solar-powered two-seater aircraft designed by Japan

(c) Space observatory launched by China

(d) Reusable rocket designed by ISRO

Answer: (a) Electric plane tested by NASA

GL-10 (Greased Lightning-10)
  • It is an electric plane that has been developed and successfully flights tested by NASA.
  • It is a battery-powered plane with 10 engines that can take off and land like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. 
  • It is a hybrid diesel-electric tilt-wing aircraft.
  • It has a 10-foot wingspan and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an airplane.
NASA GL-10 Greased Lightning
NASA GL-10 Greased Lightning

Q. What is Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF)?

(a) An agency formed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to check misuse of drugs by sportspersons

(b) A non-governmental organization which specializes in international humanitarian aid and emergency medical assistance

(c) An organization to develop applications of nanotechnology in medicine

(d) An organization of medical practitioners funded by the European Union which carries out reach against spread of AIDS

Answer: (b) A non-governmental organization which specializes in international humanitarian aid and emergency medical assistance

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF], named Doctors Without Borders in English, is a charity that provides humanitarian medical care.
  • It is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) of French origin known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases.
  • MSF was founded in 1971, in the aftermath of the Biafran famine of the Nigerian Civil War, by a small group of French doctors and journalists who sought to expand accessibility to medical care across national boundaries and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.
  • The organisation provides care for diabetes, drug-resistant infections, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, tropical and neglected diseases, tuberculosis, vaccines and COVID-19.
  • In 2019, the charity was active in 70 countries with over 35,000 personnel; mostly local doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, logistical experts, water and sanitation engineers, and administrators.
  • MSF has general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
  • It received the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its members’ continued efforts to provide medical care in acute crises, as well as raising international awareness of potential humanitarian disasters.

Q. ‘Mission Indradhanush’ launched by the Government of India pertains to

(a) immunization of children and pregnant women

(b) construction of smart cities across the country

(c) India’s  own search for the Earth-like planets in outer space

(d) New Educational Policy

Answer: (a) immunization of children and pregnant women

Universal Immunisation Programme
  • The Immunization Programme in India was introduced in 1978 as ‘Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • In 1985, the Programme was modified as ‘Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)’. UIP prevents mortality and morbidity in children and pregnant women against 12 vaccine-preventable diseases.
    • But in the past, it was seen that the increase in immunization coverage had slowed down and it increased at the rate of 1% per year between 2009 and 2013.
  • To accelerate the coverage, Mission Indradhanush was envisaged and implemented since 2015 to rapidly increase the full immunization coverage to 90%.
Mission Indradhanush
  • Mission Indradhanush was launched to fully immunize more than 89 lakh children who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated under UIP.
  • It provides vaccination against 12 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD) i.e. diphtheria, Whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, meningitis and pneumonia, Haemophilus influenzae type B infections, Japanese encephalitis (JE), rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and measles-rubella (MR).
    • However, vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis and Haemophilus influenzae type B is being provided in selected districts of the country.
  • Mission Indradhansuh was also identified as one of the flagship schemes under Gram Swaraj Abhiyan and Extended Gram Swaraj Abhiyan.
Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI)
  • It was launched in October 2017.
  • Under IMI, greater focus was given on urban areas which were one of the gaps of Mission Indradhanush.
  • It focused to improve immunisation coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunisation to more than 90% by December 2018 instead of 2020.