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Prelim Bits 06-05-2023 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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May 06, 2023

Summer Cyclones

Cyclone Mocha, a summer cyclone is likely to take place in the Bay of Bengal.

  • A summer cyclone is likely to take place in the Bay of Bengal and its path and intensification is not assessed yet.
  • Predicting the path of summer cyclones is very difficult.
  • From the past events, it is known that the impact of summer storms is very high.

Monsoon Cyclone

Summer Cyclone

Cyclone that occur during the monsoon season.

Cyclone that occur during the summer season.

September, October and November are monsoon cyclone months

April, May and June are considered as summer cyclone months

Monsoon cyclones have regularly hit the east coast of India

Summer cyclones are extremely rare events in the Bay of Bengal

  • Rarity - Between 1891 and 2017, only 14 severe tropical cyclones have formed in summer over the Bay of Bengal, and most of them did not make landfall.
  • Cyclone Mocha will be the fourth summer cyclone in Bay of Bengal since Fani in 2019.

Recent summer cyclones that hit India

  • Cyclone Fani (May 2019) - The longest-lived cyclone in the Bay of Bengal and the worst cyclone to hit Odisha in this century.
  • Super Cyclone Amphan (May 2020) - First super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal in the last 21 years and made landfall near Digha in West Bengal.
  • Cyclone Nisarga (June 2020) - Originated in the Arabian Sea and made landfall on the Maharashtra coast.
  • It was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike Maharashtra in June since 1891.
  • Cyclone Yaas (May 2021) - Formed in the Bay of Bengal, devastated several parts of West Bengal.
  • Cyclone Tauktae (May 2021) - Originated in the Arabian Sea and made landfall along Gujarat’s Saurashtra coast.
  • Cyclone Asani (May 2022) - Formed in the Bay of Bengal and brought heavy rains in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.


  1. DTE -  Cyclone Mocha: Summer cyclones not new
  2. India Times - Cyclone Mocha will be the 4th summer cyclone in Bay of Bengal

Biosynthetic Clock

Cells degenerate and die eventually after variety of molecular changes throughout their entire lifespan according to the biosynthetic clock.

  • A biosynthetic ‘clock’ keeps the body’s cells from getting old.
  • It keeps the body’s cells reaching normal levels of deterioration related to ageing.
  • Cells follow a variety of molecular changes through their entire lifespan until they eventually degenerate and die.
  • But cells of the same genetic material and within the same environment can travel along distinct ageing routes.
  • Recent research has shown that cells follow 2 distinct paths during ageing which are controlled by a central, genetic regulatory circuit.
  • About half of the cells age through a gradual decline in the stability of DNA and the other half along the decline of mitochondria.
  • These regulatory circuits can be rewired to operate like a gene oscillator to stall the ageing process.


  1. The Hindu - What is a biosynthetic clock?

SCO Goa Meet 2023

The Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is meeting in Goa, India.

  • India holds the rotating presidency of the SCO this year and is the current chair of SCO Council of Heads of State.
  • India in its presidential capacity has hosted several ministerial-level SCO meetings, including a tourism ministers’ meeting at Varanasi.
  • The Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO met at Goa, India.
  • The foreign ministers of all the 8 members of SCO including Pakistan, participated in the meeting.
  • The foreign ministers’ meeting is to prepare for the upcoming meeting of the Heads of State Council, or the SCO summit.
  • SCO leaders’ summit will be held on July 3 and 4 in Delhi.
  • Pakistan - This is the first visit to India by a Pakistan Foreign Minister after a 6-year hiatus.
  • The last such visit was in December 2016, when Pakistan’s then Foreign Minister, Sartaj Aziz, attended the Heart of Asia conference at Amritsar.
  • SCO - Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was formed in 2001.
  • SCO was founded by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Current member states (8) - China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
  • Observer States (4) - Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.
  • The observers Iran and Belarus will be the newest members of SCO and will be joining under India’s presidency in SCO summit.
  • Dialogue Partners (6) - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, Sri Lanka.
  • The official working languages of SCO are Chinese and Russian.
  • The Beijing based SCO Secretariat is the main permanent executive body of the SCO.
  • The Council of Heads of State is the top decision-making body in the SCO.
  • The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.
  • RATS is headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.



  1. IE - Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet in Goa

Global Health Emergency

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Covid-19 is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

  • The highest level of alert of WHO is termed as ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ (PHEIC).
  • COVID-19, declared PHEIC in January 2020, held the designation for over three years.
  • WHO constituted the Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • The Committee considered the 3 criteria of a PHEIC and discussed the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Conditions for a disease to be PHEIC -
    1. An extraordinary event
    2. A public health risk to other States through the international spread
    3. Potentially requires a coordinated international response.
  • Now, COVID-19 does not satisfy the 3 conditions for a disease to be PHEIC, WHO removed the designation.


  1. IE - COVID is no longer an emergency
  2. DTE - WHO ends COVID-19 global health emergency
  3. WHO - Emergency Committee regarding COVID-19 pandemic

National Programme for non-communicable diseases

The Central government has renamed its programme for control and prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to widen its scope.

  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration.
  • They are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors.
  • NPCDCS - The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) programme is the existing programme for NCDs in India.
  • NPCDCS was launched in 2010.
  • It focuses on strengthening infrastructure, human resource development, health promotion, early diagnosis, management and referral.
  • NPCDCS is being implemented under the National Health Mission (NHM) across the country.

Under NPCDCS, 677 NCD district-level clinics, 187 District Cardiac Care Units, 266 District Day Care Centres and 5,392 NCD Community Health Centre-level clinics have been set up.

  • NCDs - The four major NCDs are cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) and diabetes.
  • The 4 major NCDs share 4 behavioural risk factors – unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and use of tobacco and alcohol.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic kidney disease, etc., are added to the programme.
  • Many other new diseases or disease-groups and new health initiatives have been added to the NPCDCS programme.
  • Renaming - The NPCDCS programme has been renamed National Programme for Prevention & Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NP-NCD) amid widening coverage and expansion.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has also renamed the CPHC NPD portal as ‘National NCD Portal’.
  • Related topic - WHO Report on Non-communicable Diseases


  1. The Hindu - Government programme for NCDs renamed
  2. National Health Mission - NPCDCS
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