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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test

Why in News?

The PCR Tests are being conducted in Corona virus.

What is PCR Test ?

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a technique that is used to amplify trace amounts of DNA (and in some instances, RNA) located in or on almost any liquid or surface where DNA strands may be deposited.

The key to understanding PCR is to know that every human, animal, plant, parasite, bacterium, or virus contains genetic material such as DNA (or RNA) sequences (nucleotide sequences or pieces of DNA or RNA) that are unique to their species, and to the individual member of that species.

Consequently, if a sample contains segments of DNA or RNA, PCR is a method used to amplify (make many more identical copies) of these unique sequences so they can then be used to determine with a very high probability the identity of the source (a specific person, animal, or pathogenic organism) of the trace DNA or RNA found in or on almost any sample of material.

What are differences between PCR versus RT-PCR?

RT-PCR is a PCR test that is designed to detect and measure RNA.

  • Although initial PCR tests amplified DNA, many viruses and other biological components (for example, mitochondria) utilize RNA as their genetic material.
  • RT-PCR differs from conventional PCR by first taking RNA and converting the RNA strand into a DNA strand.
  • This is done by essentially the same method for PCR described above with the exception of using an enzyme termed reverse transcriptase instead of the DNA polymerase.

UP Property damage ordinance

Why in News?

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved an ordinance that would allow the state to recover the cost of damages to public property from riots accused individuals.

About the UP property damage ordinance:

  1. The ordinance makes provisions for the setting up of claims tribunals, one or more, to “investigate the damage caused (during protests) and to award compensation” and to cover “cost of action” taken by police and administration for prevention of damage to public properties.
  2. Sweeping powers have been granted to a new claims tribunal,including on collecting compensation ex-parte if required, that is, without hearing the individual who is accused of vandalism.
  3. The award of compensation made by the tribunal will be final and cannot be appealed against before any civil court.
  4. Composition: The tribunal will be headed by a retired district judge appointed by the state government and may include a member who is an officer of the rank of Additional Commissioner.
  5. The law allows the constitution of multiple tribunals for a single event to ensure that the proceedings are concluded “preferably within three months” and allows the tribunal to appoint one assessor “who is technically qualified to assess such damage from a panel appointed by the state government”.
  6. Procedure to be followed: The tribunal, may follow “summary procedure as it thinks fit” and has the powers of a civil court for evaluating evidence and enforcing the attendance of witnesses. It bars any civil court from interfering with any directives of the claims tribunal.
  7. Burden of proof: The ordinance also places the burden of proving that one has no “nexus” to a protest, hartal, strike, bandh, riot or public commotion — during which any destruction of public or private property was caused – on the individual, failing which the individual’s properties will be seized.
  8. Principle of absolute liability under law shall apply once “the nexus with the event that precipitated the damage is established”. The law, however, does not specify what the nature of the “nexus” would be.

Under Section 21(2), the new law says that while liability will be borne by the “actual perpetrators of the crime”, one who “instigates” or “incites” the crime would share the liability as per the decision of the claims tribunal. However, the law does not discuss what action constitutes incitement or instigation.

Facts for Prelims

Mission 175:

  • Mission 175 is a global platform to explore strategies for development and deployment of renewables.
  • It is hosted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the event showcases India’s renewable energy potential and the Government’s efforts to scale up capacity to meet the national energy requirement in a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable manner.
  • In the year 2015, the Government of India announced a target for 175 GW cumulative renewable power installed capacity by the year 2022.


  • The Ministry of Shipping has launched a roll on-roll off cum passenger ferry service, called ‘ROPAX’, between Mumbai and Mandwa (Maharashtra).
  • ROPAX service is a water transport service project under Eastern Waterfront Development.
  • The road distance from Mumbai to Mandwa is about 110 kilometres, and it takes three to four hours, whereas by waterway the distance is about 18 kilometres and a journey of just an hour.
  • ROPAX Vessel M2M -1 was built in Greece in September 2019. This Vessel has a speed of 14 knots and can carry 200 cars and 1000 passengers at a time.


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