CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 24th-December, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


24th Dec, 2017

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Surgery’s tech future{Science & Tech}


Context

Cataracts are the single largest factor for blindness in India, accounting for nearly 63% of the total burden of vision impairment in the country.

India has among the world’s highest proportion of blind people, numbering nearly 12 million, as against 39 million globally, which makes India home to a third of the world’s blind population.

Statistics

  • According to the International Society of Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgeons (ISMSICS), there are nearly 10 million people in need of cataract surgery in India, and there is a need to double the number of surgeries.
  • India is short of nearly 500,000 doctors, based on the World Health Organisation norm of 1:1,000 population (basis, an IndiaSpend analysis of government data).
  • With more than 740,000 active doctors at the end of 2014, India’s claimed doctor-patient population ratio of 1:1,674 is worse than that of Vietnam, Algeria and Pakistan.

Robot-assisted surgeries

Robot-assisted surgeries are already at the service of surgeons with complex eye operations. Axsis, a new surgical robot which was developed in 2016, and designed to perform cataract surgery, is the first of a new generation of sleeker, cheaper medical robots.

Medical researchers in the U.S. have created a robot that can autonomously operate on soft and live tissue with skills rivalling those of highly qualified surgeons.

Issue

Till now robots are not completely automated

Potential benefits

Increased use of autonomous robotics could eventually even help bring down costs of expensive medical procedures.

It could potentially help address the shortage of doctors across medical practices

Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil.

Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world.

Types of cataracts include

  • subcapsular cataractoccurs at the back of the lens. People with diabetes or those taking high doses of steroid medications have a greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract.
  • nuclear cataractforms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens. Nuclear cataracts usually are associated with aging.
  • cortical cataractis characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that start in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the center in a spoke-like fashion. This type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which is the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus.

What Causes Cataracts?

The lens inside the eye works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina for clear vision. It also adjusts the eye’s focus, letting us see things clearly both up close and far away.

The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it.

But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.

No one knows for sure why the eye’s lens changes as we age, forming cataracts. But researchers worldwide have identified factors that may cause cataracts or are associated with cataract development. Besides advancing age, cataract risk factors include:

  • Ultraviolet radiationfrom sunlight and other sources
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
  • Statin medicines used to reduce cholesterol
  • Previous eye injury or inflammation
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Significant alcohol consumption
  • High myopia
  • Family history

Where architectural styles meet {Art & Culture}


Context

This article talks about the art and culture of Chanderi town in Madhya Pradesh

History

It has a rich history, having been ruled at various points by the Gurjara-Pratiharas (who first made it their capital), the Bundela Rajputs, the Delhi and Malwa Sultans, as well as the Mughals, Scindias, and the British.

This town was a major link for connecting trade routes, is of historical importance.

Malwa style of architecture

During the 14th century, when the Tughlaq rule in Delhi was on the decline, governors in the Deccan declared their independence one by one.

Building activity was suspended in Delhi, and artisans and skilled labourers found generous patrons in Malwa where the kings were starting their construction activity. This combined with Persian influence gave rise to a Malwa style of architecture.

Inside the cemetery

In every enclosed tomb was the Mihrab , a semicircular niche that indicates the direction of the Qibla , or the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca.

According to the Archaeological Survey of India, these are the graves of the family of the famous Delhi Chisthi Sufi Saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s descendants, who had come to Chanderi


 

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