Today’s Important Prelims Bits 14-05-2022
In News: Counterterrorism teams from Russia, China, Pakistan and Central Asian countries will gather in Delhi on the weekend ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Regional Anti-Terror Structure (SCO-RATS) meeting hosted by India from May 16 to 19.
About SCO’s RATS
SCO’s RATS, based out of the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, is a permanent body of the grouping and aims to counter terrorism, extremism, and separatism in the region.
- The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.
- The SCO’s main goals are as follows: strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states; promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
- The SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan;
- The SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Mongolia;
- The SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
- In October, joint anti-terrorist exercises titled “Manesar-Antiterror-2022” will be held on the NSG training campus in Manesar on the outskirts of Delhi, and will be followed by another joint border operation of the SCO member states called “Friendship Border-2022” in Kazakhstan later this year.
- India is expected to host the SCO summit in 2023, which would see leaders of the eight-member grouping (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) travelling to New Delhi.
In News: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully carried out the static test of the HS200 solid rocket booster.
About HS200 booster
- Designed and developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram for over two years.
- The HS200 booster is the ‘human-rated’ version of the S200 rocket boosters used on the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III), also called the LVM3.
- The HS200 is a 20-metre-long booster with a diameter of 3.2 metres and is the world’s second largest operational booster using solid propellants.
- It is loaded with 203 tonnes of solid propellant
Note: Of the three propulsion stages of the GSLV Mk-III, the second stage uses liquid propellant while the third is a cryogenic stage.
About Gaganyaan Programme
- The Gaganyaan Programme envisages undertaking the demonstration of human spaceflight to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in the short-term and will lay the foundation for a sustained Indian human space exploration programme in the long run.
- The objective of Gaganyaan programme is to demonstrate indigenous capability to undertake human space flight mission to LEO.
- As part of this programme, two unmanned missions and one manned mission are approved by Government of India (GoI).
In News: The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here has established the “proof of principle” of the first indigenous mRNA vaccine technology coming from a scientific institution in India.
About mRNA vaccine
- Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies.
- Like all vaccines, mRNA vaccines benefit people who get vaccinated by giving them protection against diseases like COVID-19 without risking the potentially serious consequences of getting sick.
- mRNA vaccines are newly available to the public. However, researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades.
Facts About COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines:
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines cannot give someone the virus that causes COVID-19 or other viruses.
- mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19 and cannot cause infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 or other viruses.
They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
- mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell where our DNA (genetic material) is located, so it cannot change or influence our genes.
The mRNA and the spike protein don’t last long in the body.
- Our cells break down mRNA and get rid of it within a few days after vaccination.
- Scientists estimate that the spike protein, like other proteins our bodies create, may stay in the body up to a few weeks.