Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 05 July 2020

In Today’s News:

  1. Detecting RNA virus in saliva samples using Raman Spectroscopy.
  2. Private players in Indian Railways.

1. Detecting RNA virus in saliva samples using Raman Spectroscopy.

News Summary

A team from Mumbai based Tata Memorial Centre has used Raman Spectroscopy to detect RNA virus in saliva samples. A set of 65 Raman spectral features were adequate to find the viral positive signals. To minimize variability they developed an automated tool called RNA Virus Detector using a Graphical User Interface. This framework could form the basis for the field application of Raman Spectroscopy in managing viral outbreaks. We can use this technique as a screening test as it can only identify RNA viruses and not the specific strain. It can find out within a minute. Since no additional reagent is required, even this reduces recurring costs. A portable Raman spectrophotometer can be installed in the entry of airports or railways for the screening of passengers within minutes.

Prelims GS – Science and Technology

Raman Spectroscopy:
  • Raman Spectroscopy is a non-destructive chemical analysis technique.
  • It is an analytical technique where scattered light is used to measure the vibrational energy modes of a sample.
  • It probes the chemical structure of a material and provides detailed information about:
    • Chemical structure and identity
    • Phase and Polymorphism
    • Intrinsic stress
    • Contamination and impurity
  • People use it for microscopic analysis in the order of 0.5-1 µm.
Examples of Raman Spectroscopy in real life:
  • In Life Sciences, researchers use it for  diagnosis of diseases and drug interactions
  • In semiconductors, people use it for the analysis of alloy composition and purity.
  • Raman Spectroscopy plays a significant role in pharmaceuticals, geology, art, and archaeology, etc.

2. Private players in Indian Railways

News Summary

Indian Railways has launched the process of opening up railways for the private sector. To satisfy the demand for requirements of people, the Indian Government has allowed the liberalization of Railways.

Mini Insights

Mains GS3 – Economic Development (Infrastructure)

Significance of private players in Indian Railways:
  • People were steadily shifting to other modes of travel which results in significant loss of revenue for the Railways as per the Economic Survey.
  • The Government appointed Mr. Bibek Debroy committee to analyze the significance of the privatization of Railways.
  • The panel noted that the passengers were willing to pay more if they are guaranteed better quality of travel and ease of access.
  • Also, a one rupee push in the Railway sector will have a forward linkage effect of increasing the output in other sectors by Rs.2.50.
  • The Debroy committee also found this significant to promote “Make in India.”
  • The introduction of private players will help in managing the increasing demands of the country for travel.
  • Also, the participation of various players will enhance the experience of travel.
  • As each and every private player will have a healthy competition, they will improve their features and experience consistently in their respective trains.
  • This move of private players in Indian Railways will provide more jobs in the private sector in the Railways sector.
  • Thus, private players in Indian Railways along with traditional Indian Railways will definitely increase the capacity of Railways to cater to the needs and demands of the people of India.


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