Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 25-05-2023

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 25-05-2023

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ's) | 25-05-2023

Q1. Consider the following statements with respect to the Sengol- vesting ceremony

1. The Sengol ceremony seemingly took place minutes before India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the National Flag and made his famous “Tryst with destiny” speech on August 15, 1947

2. The sacred sengol-vesting model originally belong to the Pallava kings of Ancient India

Which of the above statements is/are incorrect?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer (b)

Explanation:

New Parliament to house sceptre that symbolised transfer of power in 1947

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi will install the Sengol, a sceptre given by the British to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to represent the transfer of power in 1947, in the new Parliament building.

• The sceptre, kept in a museum in Prayagraj, formerly Allahabad, will be installed near the podium of the Lok Sabha Speaker.

• “Sengol makes the spirit of August 15, 1947 unforgettable and the Parliament House is the most appropriate and sacred place to install it,” Mr. Shah said. “Transfer of power is not a mere exchange of documents; it is done when the government runs according to traditions and culture. Sengol in the new Parliament building indicates the sentiments espoused by Nehruji in 1947.”

• It was originally used to mark the handing over of power from one king to another during the Chola dynasty in Tamil Nadu.

• The five-foot-long intricately carved, unbending gold-plated silver sceptre, with a finial of Nandi (bull deity), was specially commissioned by the then Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam (pontiff) and was handed over to Nehru.

• The Thiruvavaduthurai math is located in Mayiladuthurai district of Tamil Nadu, at the heart of the erstwhile Chola kingdom.

How a letter to PMO set off search for Sengol

• A letter to the Prime Minister’s Office by dancer Padma Subrahmanyam set off meticulous research into the Sengol leading to the installation of the golden sceptre in the new Parliament building when it is inaugurated on May 28.

• Sources in the Culture Ministry said that Dr. Subrahmanyam had quoted an article in the Tamil magazine Thuglak which had carried details of the ceremony in 1947.

• The article had appeared in May 2021 and the dancer and researcher had requested the government to make this information public on the occasion of Independence Day that year.

• This set the tone for a relook at the historical event and a Culture Ministry team, assisted by experts from the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), began the research into the report

• The Sengol ceremony seemingly took place minutes before India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the National Flag and made his famous “Tryst with destiny” speech on August 15, 1947. It had been kept at his Prayagraj residence-turned-museum till now.

• It was in 2017 that reports again began appearing in the Tamil media about how minutes before Mr. Nehru addressed the nation as the Prime Minister, the Government of India had followed the sacred Sengol-vesting model of Chola kings of Tamil Nadu for transfer of power from the British to Indians.The then Prime Minister had been handed over the Sengol with the Nandi (bull deity) finial amid the singing of the sacred Tamil text Thevaram — symbolic of divine blessings and command to rule justly and fairly.

• They found that the golden sceptre was studded with jewels and worth ₹15,000 at that time and was made by Vummidi Bangaru Chetty and Sons, jewellers and diamond merchants of Chennai.

• The Vummidi Bangaru Chetty family confirmed that they made the Sengol. Though the eldest member of the family who made it is over 95 years old and is unable to recollect the details, the photograph of the event is kept at their house, the sources said.

Q2. Consider the following statements with respect to the Human evolution

1. The shape of the nose could have evolutionary implications in the better survival of humans

2. Prehistoric humans and Neanderthals are believed to have interbred, exchanging genetic material and contributing to the genomes of present-day humans

Which of the above is/are correct?

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer (c)

Explanation:

Did Neanderthals shape our noses?

• A recent study in Communications Biology, led by researchers from the University College London and Fudan University, adds to a growing and significant body of evidence on diseases and traits in modern humans that have been influenced by genomic loci from the Neanderthals and the Denisovans

The genes behind the human nose?

• A recent study – published in Communications Biology, led by researchers from the University College London and Fudan University and with contributions from researchers across the world – used 2D images and measures of the distance between facial landmarks, computed in an automated fashion, in over 6,000 Latin American individuals as the basis for a genetic association study.

• This way, they identified 42 new genetic loci associated with the human nose. (A ‘locus’, plural ‘loci’, is the position of a particular gene on the human chromosome.) Of these, 26 could be replicated in other populations, including Asians, Europeans, and Africans. One of these loci included a location called 1q32.3 (short for chromosome 1, short arm, locus 32.3), which is associated with the height of the human nose.

• This genetic locus was previously shown to have been contributed by the Neanderthals. The present study adds to this evidence, suggesting that specific variants in the genetic loci are associated with midface height. This chromosomal locus encodes for a gene named activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3).

Why does nose shape matter?

• The shape of the nose could have evolutionary implications in the better survival of humans, possibly helping them adapt to climates prevalent in the time of our ancestors. There is also speculation that changes in the shape and the size of the nose could have affected the landmark’s ability to maintain certain temperatures and humidity within.

• Prehistoric humans and Neanderthals are believed to have interbred, exchanging genetic material and contributing to the genomes of present-day humans, thus shaping human destiny to this day. This is also known as the introgression of genomic sequences. Researchers have estimated that this interbreeding occurred approximately 70,000- 100,000 years ago, leaving a lasting genetic legacy in the human population.

• The evolutionary geneticist Svante Paabo made significant contributions to the study of Neanderthal genomes and the transfer of genetic information (introgression) between the archaic, long-extinct hominids, the Neanderthals, the Denisovans, and modern-day humans. (Denisovans are a subspecies of archaic humans who lived until around 30,000 years ago.)

• Dr. Paabo’s efforts to understand archaic hominid interbreeding have earned him recognition in the scientific community, and won him the prestigious Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 2022. He has provided key insights into the evolutionary history of our species and the genetic contributions we have inherited from our ancient relatives.

Other genes from Neanderthals?

• The present study adds to a growing and significant body of evidence on diseases and traits in modern humans that have been influenced by genomic loci from the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.

• A mass of emerging evidence suggests that the Neanderthal genomes could also have contributed to the way we respond to pathogens as well as defined our risk of developing a number of skin and blood conditions and some cancers (like liver cancer), and even depression.

• How the origin of humankind in Africa, their subsequent migrations out of the continent and their interbreeding with the Neanderthals, the Denisovans and other archaic hominids, who are today extinct, have together contributed to different human traits is an active area of research.

• In fact, one recent study published in Nature analysed human population diversity in Africa and reported that early humans diverged in Africa from multiple, rather than single, ancestral roots and that descendants from only some of those roots could have interbred with the Neanderthals and the Denisovans. Different global populations therefore have varying degrees of the genetic components from these archaic human species.

How can this knowledge help us?

• By understanding the genetic interactions between them and us, scientists can better comprehend the genetic diversity and adaptability of our species.

• The continued exploration of this interbreeding event and its consequences for human biology and health represents an exciting frontier in genomic research. As more studies contribute to the extant evidence in this field, our understanding of the interplay between archaic and modern human genomes will continue to deepen.

• This knowledge could in turn offer new avenues for the study and treatment of various diseases, as well as build a greater appreciation for the intricate tapestry of human genetic heritage.

Q3. Consider the following statements with reference to the food irradiation,

1. It is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms

2. It effectively eliminates organisms that cause foodborne illness, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli.

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

a. 1 only

b. 2 only

c. Both 1 and 2

d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer (c)

Explanation:

• Irradiation does not make foods radioactive, compromise nutritional

quality, or noticeably change the taste, texture, or appearance of food. In fact, any changes made by irradiation are so minimal that it is not easy to tell if a food has been irradiated.

• Food irradiation (the application of ionizing radiation to food) is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects. Like pasteurizing milk and canning fruits and vegetables, irradiation can make food safer for the consumer.

• The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating the sources of radiation that are used to irradiate food.

• The FDA approves a source of radiation for use on foods only after it has determined that irradiating the food is safe.

Advantages of Irradiation of food:

• Prevention of Foodborne Illness – to effectively eliminate organisms that cause foodborne illness, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli).

• Preservation – to destroy or inactivate organisms that cause spoilage and decomposition and extend the shelf life of foods.

• Control of Insects – to destroy insects in or on tropical fruits imported into the United States. Irradiation also decreases the need for other pest-control practices that may harm the fruit.

• Delay of Sprouting and Ripening – to inhibit sprouting (e.g., potatoes) and delay ripening of fruit to increase longevity.

• Sterilization – irradiation can be used to sterilize foods, which can then be stored for years without refrigeration. Sterilized foods are useful in hospitals for patients with severely impaired immune systems, such as patients with AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy.

Q4. Consider the following pairs:

How many pair(s) given above are/are correctly matched?

a. One pair only

b. Two pairs only

c. All three pairs

d. None of the pairs

Answer (c)

Explanation:

The Union Culture Ministry announced that the Hoysala Temples of Belur, Halebid and Somnathapura in Karnataka are India’s official nominations for the World Heritage List for the year 2022-2023.

The Hoysaleswara temple, also called the ‘Halebidu’ temple, is a 12th- century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the largest monument in Halebidu, a town in Karnataka and the erstwhile capital of the Hoysala Empire. The Hoysaleswara temple follows the Shaivism tradition but includes themes from Vaishnavism and Shaktism, along with Jainism images. The sculptures inside the temple depict scenes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana.

The Brihadeshwara Temple was constructed in 1010 CE by Rajaraja I. The gigantic Brihadeshwara Temple in Thanjavur is perhaps one of the finest examples of the Cholas’ artistic brilliance.

Martand Sun temple

• The Martand Sun Temple also known as Pandou Laidan is a Hindu temple dedicated to Surya (the chief solar deity in Hinduism) and built during the 8th century CE. Martand is another Sanskrit synonym for Surya.

• It was built by the third ruler of the Karkota Dynasty, Lalitaditya Muktapida. It is now in ruins, as it was destroyed by the orders of Muslim ruler Sikandar Shah Miri.

• The temple is located five miles from Anantnag in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. From the ruins and related archaeological findings, it can be said it was an excellent specimen of Kashmiri architecture, which had blended the Gandharan, Gupta and Chinese forms of architecture.

• The temple appears in the list of centrally protected monuments as Kartanda (Sun Temple).

Q5. The 11th-century Lingaraj temple, Shanti Stupa, 10th- century Mukteswar temple, Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves are situated in the state of

a. Odisha

b. Karnataka

c. Maharashtra

d. Madhya Pradesh

Answer (a)

Explanation:

The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has launched a guided walking tour to various heritage sites to promote the state’s rich culture and history.

• The fascinating stories of the past of Odisha will be presented to tourists by walking tours to the 11th-century Lingaraj temple, Shanti Stupa, 10th-century Mukteswar temple, Khandagiri and Udaygiri caves. Guides will tell the tales of those places to the tourists.

• Mukteshvara Temple: It is the 10th-century temple dedicated to lord Shiva located in Bhubaneswar. The temple is a part of the “Guided Walking Tour” launched by the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) to promote the state’s rich culture and history.