Ojaank IAS Academy



Share with

              CAR T-Cell Therapy for treatment of Cancer

GS Paper III

Context: Over conventional kinds of treatment, the novel CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy shows promise for Ovarian Cancer patients.

What are CAR T-cells?

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell treatments represent a quantum leap in cancer therapy complexity.

CAR T-cell treatments employ a patient’s own cells, as opposed to chemotherapy or immunotherapy, which need mass-produced injectable or oral drug.

They are genetically engineered in the lab to stimulate T-cells, a kind of immune cell, to target tumours.

After training the cells to proliferate more efficiently, they are put back into the patient’s circulation.

The cells are more specific than targeted treatments and directly stimulate the patient’s immune system against cancer, increasing clinical efficacy.

This is why they’re considered ‘living medications’.

How does the therapy work?

CAR T-cell treatment involves drawing the patient’s blood to collect T-cells, which are immune cells that play an important role in eliminating tumour cells.

In the laboratory, researchers change these cells so that they express particular proteins on their surfaces, known as chimeric antigen receptors (CAR).

They show a preference for proteins found on the surface of tumour cells.

This change in cellular structure allows CAR T-cells to efficiently attach to and eliminate tumours.

The patient’s immune system clears the tumour as the final phase in its elimination.

Where is it used?

CAR T-cell therapy is now licenced for the treatment of leukaemias (cancers that arise from the cells that make white blood cells) and lymphomas (arising from the lymphatic system).

These cancers are caused by the uncontrolled replication of a single clone of cells, which means that when a single kind of cell undergoes malignant transformation, it generates millions of identical duplicates.

As a result, the CAR T-cell target is constant and trustworthy.

CAR T-cell therapy is also utilised in individuals whose malignancies have reappeared after a successful initial treatment or who have not responded to earlier chemotherapy or immunotherapy combinations.

Its reaction rate varies. The effectiveness in specific forms of leukaemias and lymphomas can reach 90%, although it is much lower in other types of malignancy.

How widespread is its use?

The difficulty in preparing CAR T-cells has been a key impediment to their utilisation.

The first clinical trial demonstrating its efficacy was published about a decade ago, however the first indigenously created therapy in India was only successfully done in 2022.

This therapy necessitates a significant amount of technological and human resources.

Treatments in the United States can cost more than a million dollars.

Trials are also ongoing in India, with businesses attempting to make CAR T-cells at a fraction of the cost.

The preliminary findings are favourable.

What are conventional cancer therapies?

Surgery (removing the cancer), radiotherapy (delivering ionising radiation to the tumour), and systemic therapy are the three main types of cancer treatment (chemotherapy- administering medicines that act on the tumour only).

Surgery and radiation have been greatly improved throughout time, but developments in systemic treatment have been unprecedented.

CAR T-cell therapy is a recent invention in this field that is capturing the interest of many researchers worldwide.

Will this therapy be expensive in India as well?

Any novel medicine introduced in India faces the twin difficulties of cost and value.

Critics say that constructing facilities in India may be superfluous and/or unsuitable because CAR T-cell treatment would be costly to the majority of Indians even if it becomes cheaper.

Those who can afford it and need it are already receiving treatment elsewhere.

While this is correct, it may be the correct response to the incorrect question.

Every patient has the right to receive a global standard of care; the next step is to figure out how to make it more affordable.

Source – The Hindu

                Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)

GS Paper III

Context:Over the next five years, the Union Budget has allocated Rs 2,516 crore for the computerization of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).

What are Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)?

PACS are village-level cooperative credit societies that act as the final link in a three-tier cooperative credit framework led by state-level State Cooperative Banks (SCB).

Credit is moved from SCBs to district central cooperative banks, or DCCBs, which function at the district level.

The DCCBs collaborate with PACS, who deal with farmers directly.

Individual farmers are members of the PACS since they are cooperative entities, and office-bearers are elected from within them.

A village may have several PACS.

What is its lending mechanism?

PACS are involved in agricultural loans, which are short-term loans.

Farmers use credit to fund their seed, fertiliser, and other crop-related needs at the start of the cropping cycle.

Banks offer this credit at 7% interest, with the Centre subsidising 3% and the state government subsidising 2%.

Farmers effectively obtain agricultural loans at a 2% interest rate.

NPAs with PACS:

According to NABARD’s annual report for 2021-22, small and marginal farmers received 59.6 percent of loans.

According to a report released by the Reserve Bank of India on December 27, 2022, the number of PACS is 1.02 lakh.

Only 47,297 of them were profitable at the end of March 2021.

According to the same report, PACS reported loans totaling Rs 1,43,044 crore and NPAs totaling Rs 72,550 crore. Maharashtra has 20,897 PACS, with 11,326 of them losing money.

Why are PACS attractive?

The appeal of PACS is the last-mile connectivity they provide.

Farmers require timely access to financing at the commencement of their agricultural activity.

PACS have the ability to offer credit quickly and with minimum documentation.

Source – The Hindu


                                    White Label ATMs

GS Paper III

Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the validity of Vakrangee’s permission to build up, own, and operate White Label ATMs in India.

What is White Label ATM?

Banks often handle ATMs. White Label ATMs, on the other hand, are owned and operated by non-banking businesses.

Customers can use ATMs operating under this business model for banking transactions regardless of which bank they have an account with.

Under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act of 2007, the RBI permitted the operation and incorporation of WLA ATM by non-banking organisations.

It was designed to help extend India’s ATM network, particularly in semi-urban and rural areas.

How does it work?

White Label ATM providers collaborate with banking networks to enable bank clients to access banking services such as cash withdrawals, bill payments, and cash deposits.

To provide this service to the bank’s clients, White Label ATM (WLA) providers charge card-issuing banks fees.

A lending bank, a sponsor bank that handles settlements, and an ATM network provider are involved in the transaction process in White Label ATM operators.

The cash facility for the White ATM is provided by the Sponsor bank.

Significance of White Label ATMs:

The provision of financial services and appropriate funding to low-income persons and other disadvantaged parts of society is the focus of financial inclusion.

ATMs encourage financial inclusion by providing consumers with a variety of banking services at any time and in any location.

White Label ATM Operators in India:
  • Non-banks set up and operate White ATMs in accordance with the RBI’s guidelines for utilising ‘other bank’ ATMs.
  • These ATMs accept all domestic debit cards and, depending on the location, give the first five or three transactions each month for free.
  • Below mentioned are some examples of companies that operate white label ATMs:
  • Indicash – India’s largest White Label ATM network responsible for ‘uberisation of ATMs.’
  • India1 Payments (BTI Payments Pvt. Ltd.)
  • Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd.
  • Tata Communications Payment Solutions Ltd.
  • Vakrangee Limited
Benefits of White Label ATMs:
  • White Label ATMs serve customers by eliminating the need to visit a bank branch on a frequent basis.
  • ATMs are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays.
  • Banks gain from this since they do not need to keep a large staff or office (compared to a system without ATMs). It reduces their branch’s operational costs.
  • Rural, semi-urban, and low-income people’s financial inclusion.
  • It permitted any bank to issue ATM cards that could be used at White Label ATMs.
  • White Label ATMs may also be used to recharge mobile phones, pay utility bills, and provide other value-added services.
Limitations of White Label ATMs:

The issue of failed transactions is a major cause of worry. In the case of a disagreement, the dispute resolution mechanism will comprise three entities: the WLA operator, the sponsor bank of the WLA operator, and the customer’s bank.

  • Customers will be discouraged by the cost problem since they will have to pay to use the White Label ATMs because only a limited amount of free transactions are authorised on the WLAs.
  • The financial feasibility of white label ATMs is being questioned because to their low interchange charge and high running expenditures.
  • If there is a bank-managed ATM nearby, the White Label ATMs may not be able to produce a profit.

Source – The Hindu


                       Bard: Google’s answer to ‘ChatGPT’

GS Paper III

Context: Google has finally chosen to respond against Microsoft-backed OpenAI and its AI chatbot, ChatGPT.

What is Bard, when can I access it?

Google’s Bard has been in development for some years and is based on LaMDA, the company’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications technology.

It is a “experimental conversational AI service,” according to Sunder Pichai.

Google will make it available to trustworthy testers before making it freely available to the public in the coming weeks.

It is not yet available to the general public.

What is Bard based on?

Bard is based on Transformer technology, which also powers ChatGPT and other AI bots.

Google pioneered transformer technology, which was declared open-source in 2017.

Transformer technology is a neural network design that can anticipate outcomes depending on inputs. It is largely utilised in natural language processing and computer vision technology.

A Google developer previously claimed LaMDA was a’sentient’ entity with consciousness.

How does it work?

Bard uses information from the internet to generate unique, high-quality replies.

In short, it will provide in-depth, conversational, and essay-style responses, much like ChatGPT provides presently.

It uses far less computer resources, allowing us to grow to more people and provide more feedback.

A user may ask Bard to explain recent NASA James Webb Space Telescope findings to a 9-year-old, or learn more about the finest attackers in football right now, and then get workouts to improve their abilities.

What about its computing power?

Remember that running these models demands a large amount of processing power.

ChatGPT, for example, is powered by Microsoft’s Azure Cloud services.

This also explains why the service frequently encounters issues due to a high volume of users.

Key difference between ChatGPT and Google’s Bard:

Google looks to have an ace in its sleeve to take on ChatGPT: the capacity to extract information from the Internet.

Bard uses information from the internet to generate unique, high-quality replies.

ChatGPT has excelled with its capacity to answer to complicated inquiries — albeit with different degrees of accuracy — but probably its most significant drawback is that it cannot get real-time information from the Internet.

ChatGPT’s language model was trained on a massive dataset to create text depending on input, although the dataset is currently only up to 2021.

Is Bard better than ChatGPT?

Right now, Bard appears to be a restricted release.

Google is now soliciting input on Bard, so it is difficult to determine if it will be able to answer more queries than ChatGPT.

Google has also not specified how much knowledge Bard holds.

For example, we know that ChatGPT’s knowledge is restricted to occurrences through 2021.

Of course, it is based on LaMDA, which has been making headlines for quite some time.

Source – Indian Express


                                LCA lands on INS Vikrant

GS Paper III

Context:The Naval variant of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) made its inaugural landing onboard the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), INS Vikrant, marking a significant milestone. It displays India’s capacity to design, develop, build, and operate an IAC using indigenous fighter aircraft.”

History of Aircraft Carriers in India:

Since its independence, India has recognised the need of aircraft carriers in establishing itself as a blue sea navy.

India’s First Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant (R11): The INS Vikrant was launched as Hercules in 1945.

In 1957, India bought it from the United Kingdom.

It was the first Asian country’s carrier and remained such for a long period.

During the Goa Liberation Operation in 1961, the INS Vikrant saw action.

It was vital in the 1971 conflict, with its planes decimating the opposition.

Its enhanced capabilities prompted the commissioning of INS Vikramaditya and plans for its reincarnation.

In 1997, it was deactivated from active duty.

INS Viraat- Over 30 Years of Service to the Nation: INS Viraat was commissioned as HMS Hermes by the British Royal Navy in 1959.

The Indian Navy commissioned it in 1987.

Following the breakdown of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of 1986, INS Viraat’s first significant action was ‘Operation Jupiter’ in 1989 as part of Peace Keeping Operations in Sri Lanka.

It was also instrumental in Operation Parakram, which was carried out in the aftermath of the 2013 terrorist assault on the Indian Parliament.

The INS Viraat played an important role in Operation Vijay by imposing a blockade against Pakistan during the 1999 Kargil War.

INS Vikramaditya, the largest ship in the Indian Navy: At 2013, the repaired Admiral Gorshkov of Russia was commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya in Severodvinsk, Russia.

It is a cutting-edge ship that can operate a diverse variety of high-performance aircraft, including MiG 29K fighters, KM 31 AEW helicopters, multi-role Seakings, and utility Chetaks.

The Self-Reliant Rebirth: INS Vikrant (IAC-1) The Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) designed the ship, which was built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a Public Sector Shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.

The Indigenous Aircraft Carrier is named after her historic predecessor, India’s first aircraft carrier, which played an important role in the 1971 war.

It was developed with cutting-edge automated technologies and is the biggest ship ever built in India’s nautical history.

The 262-meter-long carrier, which is substantially larger and more modern than her predecessor, has a full displacement of close to 45,000 tonnes.

The ship has a top speed of 28 knots and is powered by four gas turbines totaling 88 MW.

It has a 76% indigenous composition altogether.

The ship can operate an air wing of 30 aircraft, including MIG-29K fighter planes, Kamov-31 multi-role helicopters, and indigenously developed Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy).

It will equip India with two operating aircraft carriers, significantly improving the country’s maritime security.

It is a shining example of the country’s pursuit of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and lends support to the government’s “Make in India” strategy.

With the IAC Vikrant, India has joined a select club of countries that have the specialised capacity to design and build an aircraft carrier domestically, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China.

Source – Indian Express


Share with

हिंदी में देखें




error: Content is protected !!