12 April 2017

Project Belle-II moves a step forward

About Belle II

  • Experiment is designed to study violations of the Standard Model of particle physics.
  • High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK) completed the rolling-in of the Belle-II experiment in Tsukuba, Japan.
  • Belle II is a grand collaboration of 700 scientists from 23 countries.

India in the Belle II

  • Belle-II has a significant Indian participation both on experimental and theoretical sides.
  • It is a six-layer, highly sensitive particle detector.
  • The fourth layer of the which is at the heart of Belle-II, has been built by Indian scientists.
  • In 1998, when Indians in this field were working mostly with CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), KEK approach India to participate in this project.
  • Scientist from various indtitute participate in this project.

What is Particle physics ?

  • It is the branch of physics that deals with the properties, relationships and interactions of subatomic particles.
  • Many technologies have been developed during these pioneering investigations that later find wide uses.
  • Particle accelerators are used to produce medical isotopes for research and treatment (for example, isotopes used in PET imaging), or used directly in external beam radiotherapy.

Why Particle Physics Experiment conducting ?

  • The primary goal, is to find and understand what physics may lie beyond the standard model.
  • There are several powerful experimental reasons to expect new physics, including dark matter and neutrino mass.
  • There are also theoretical hints that this new physics should be found at accessible energy scales.

Source : The Hindu

GS-II : Science and Technology

India-Australia strengthen ties; sign 6 agreements

Agreements were signed after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull. The two leaders decided to significantly expand their ties in several key areas including defence, trade, energy and education.

The signed Mou are

  • Health and medicine
  • Sports
  • Environment, Climate and wildlife
  • Civil aviation security
  • Cooperation in space technology
  • Expand counter-terror cooperation

Other Outcomes

  • Australia had decided to join the International Solar Alliance put together India’s Initiative.
  • The two leaders also decided to significantly expand their ties in several key areas including defence, trade, energy, education and skill development.
  • Inaugurated a Nano-technology research centre jointly established by TERI Institute and Deakin University of Australia.
  • supply uranium to India as soon as possible which was signed civil nuclear
    cooperation in 2013.

Source : DD News

GS II : Bilateral agreements

Supreme Court on Banning online pre-natal sex determination content

The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that a general ban on all online content about prenatal sex determination will curtail the fundamental right (right to know under Article 19 (1))to know of a genuine information-seeker who is driven by curiousity.

Court Observation

  • Prenatal sex determination ads is an offence.
  • But a general prohibitory order against all online information pertaining to sex determination is dangerous.
  • It will be curtailing the right to know under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution


The ban on sex determination advertisements under Section 22 of the Prenatal and Pre-Conception Sex Diagnostic Techniques Act is restricted only to paid advertisements. In February, the court ordered Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately set up their own in-house expert bodies to keep tabs and delete prohibited online prenatal sex determination ads.

What is the Difference ?

  • Distinction between the right to know of an information seeker and the purely commercial objectives of those who post online sex determination ads to make money.
  • There should be a restriction on sex determination ads only.

Why banning the ads ?

  • India’s sex ratio in children up to 6 years of age had dropped from 945 girls for every 1000 boys in 1991 to 927 girls in 2001, the year of the last census.
  • The figure was less than 800 in several states, including affluent urban districts.
  • Health officials accept estimates that tens of thousands of female fetuses are still aborted each year throughout the country after expectant parents learn the sex of their fetus through ultrasonography aimed at spotting birth defects.
  • 400 cases have been filed against doctors or clinics for violations of the law prohibiting prenatal determination of sex, only about 20 have been convicted.

Alternative option to control female fetuses

  • Expand campaigns to generate awareness, which rely on members of parliament, religious leaders, social activists, and health workers to reduce preferences for sons.
  • Society as a whole begins to rebel against the practice of female feticide

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Developmental Studies of vulnerable sections of the population


UNICEF on vaccination goal

About the news

  • UNICEF seeks help from Islamic bodies to achieve vaccination goal
  • To quell the rumours around the measles-rubella vaccine, UNICEF has reached out to Islamic civil society organisations, religious leaders and academia to create trust and address myths around immunisation.


  • This is the first time the rubella vaccine has been introduced in India’s childhood immunisation programme
  • Misinformation about the vaccine in minority communities has caused concern in the government.
  • They are not willing to take part in the vaccination program

Vaccination program in India

  • India has one of the largest immunisation programmes in the world, with nearly 26 million children targeted annually for immunisation.
  • According to UNICEF, despite extensive coverage, only 65% of children in India received all vaccines during the first year of their life.

Measles Rubella

  • Rubella, which is commonly referred to as German Measles, is a mild infection, but can have serious consequences if it occurs in pregnant women.
  • With 134,200 measles deaths globally in 2015, of which around 49,200 occurred in India — nearly 36%
  • Immunisation is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways to protect children’s lives and futures.
  • The recently introduced measles rubella vaccine, which will be provided for free in schools

About the Vaccine

  •  The introduction of these new vaccines in the Universal Immunisation Programme aims to reduce childhood mortality and protect children
  • It prevent from three major highly preventable and potentially fatal diseases — measles, pneumonia and diarrhoea.
  • The first-time introduction of the rubella vaccine, in a combination MR shot, protects children against irreversible and devastating health issues.

UNICEF has engaged with Urdu media in efforts to create trust in vaccines and address myths around immunisation

Source : The Hindu

GS II : Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

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