Vaccine against 3 encephalitis viruses
Syllabus Relevance: Prelims
Why in News: Researchers designed a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate that uses proteins from the outer shells of the viruses.
• A vaccine for eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) was found to be safe, well-tolerated and induced a neutralizing antibody
What are Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV), Western Equine Encephalitis Virus (WEEV), and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEEV)?
• Spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
• Horses are also susceptible to infection, but horses cannot transmit the viruses directly to humans.
• Infections in humans are rare but can lead to flu-like symptoms and, in some cases, severe neurological damage or death.
About VLP vaccine candidate:
• A virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate that uses proteins from the outer shells of the viruses.
• VLPs do not contain the genetic material that the viruses need to replicate inside cells, so VLPs cannot cause infection.
Syllabus Relevance: Prelims
Why in news: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Nepal’s Lumbini today and will lay the foundation stone for the construction of a unique center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage within the Lumbini Monastic Zone.
About Lumbini:
• Lumbini is the holy place where according to Buddhist tradition, Queen Mahamayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama.
• Lord Buddha was born in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage.
• Among the pilgrims was the Indian emperor Ashoka, who erected one of his commemorative pillars there.
• Lumbini is one of the holiest and most important places in Nepal. Both Lumbini and the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
• Some of the other Viharas and Monasteries in the area are:
o Myanmar’s Golden Temple,
o Tara Foundation Temple,
o The Sri Lanka Monastery,
o The Korean Temple (Dae Sung Shakya),
o The Cambodian Monastery
o The Vietnamese Phat Quoc Tu Temple.
India has no monastery in Lumbini
o The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), India- headquartered in New Delhi
Buddhist sites in India:
• Bodh Gaya, Bihar: the place of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment,
• Sarnath, Varanasi: where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dhamma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.
• Kushinagar: final resting place of Gautama Buddha
• Shravasti, where the Buddha preached for many years; Nalanda; and Rajgir, among several others.
Importance for India:
• Security reasons
o Nepal is buffer state between India & China
• Enhancement of Cultural ties.
o The construction of the ‘India International Centre for Buddhist Culture & Heritage’ — to be undertaken by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), India
• China factor
o China has already shown strong interests in Lumbini. Almost a decade ago, China had offered to build Lumbini as a world peace center at a cost of 3 billion dollars.
o China has offered to build a railway line right up to Lumbini
Chief election Commissioner
Why in News: Recently, Kumar, an officer of the 1984 batch of the Indian Administrative Service of the Bihar/Jharkhand cadre has been appointed as Chief election commissioner.
Who is the Chief Election Commissioner?
• Article 324(2) provides that the Election Commission consists of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners.
• The Chief Election Commissioner is the Chairman of the Election Commission of India.
• The CEC and other election commissioners are appointed by the President and the tenure of office and conditions of office are determined by the President as well.
• The CEC has a tenure of 6 years or till they attain the age of 65 years.
• He can be removed from office the way Judges of High Courts and SC, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) are removed.
o Through a motion adopted by Parliament on grounds of ‘proved misbehaviour or incapacity’.
o Removal requires a special majority of 2/3rd members present and voting supported by more than 50% of the total strength of the house.
• He has equal powers as the other Election Commissioners; decisions taken by the Election Commission are done by the majority of the votes.
• Other info:
o The Constitution has not prescribed the qualifications (legal, educational, administrative or judicial) of the members of the Election Commission.
o The Constitution has not specified the term of the members of the Election Commission.
o The Constitution has not debarred the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by the government.
Election Commission of India:
• The Election Commission is a multi-member body consisting of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Two Election Commissioners.
o Originally the commission had only one election commissioner but after the Election Commissioner Amendment Act 1989, it has been made a multi-member body
• The Election Commission of India (ECI) is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
• It was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950 (celebrated as national voters’ day).
• The secretariat of the commission is located in New Delhi.
• The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
o It is not concerned with the elections to panchayats and municipalities in the states. For this, the Constitution of India provides for a separate State Election Commission.
Powers and Functions of ECI:
• Administrative:
o To determine the territorial areas of the electoral constituencies throughout the country on the basis of the Delimitation Commission Act of Parliament.
o To prepare and periodically revise electoral rolls and to register all eligible voters.
o To grant recognition to political parties and allot election symbols to them.
o Ensures a level playing field for the political parties in election fray, through strict observance by them of a Model Code of Conduct evolved with the consensus of political parties.
• Advisory Jurisdiction & Quasi-Judicial Functions:
o Under the Constitution, the Commission has advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post-election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures.
o The opinion of the Commission in all such matters is binding on the President or, as the case may be, the Governor to whom such opinion is tendered.
o Further, the cases of persons found guilty of corrupt practices at elections which come before the SC and High Courts are also referred to the Commission for its opinion on the question as to whether such person shall be disqualified and, if so, for what period.
o The Commission has the power to disqualify a candidate who has failed to lodge an account of his election expenses within the time and in the manner prescribed by law.
Devasahayam Pillai
Why in News: Pope Francis canonised Blessed Devasahayam during the Canonisation Mass in St Peter’s Basilica
• He was born a Hindu in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu and converted to Christianity in the 18th century.
• Became the first Indian layman to be declared a saint by the Vatican
• Besides Devasahayam, the Pope proclaimed five other men as saints:
o Titus Brandsma, Cesar de Bus, Luigi Maria Palazzolo, Giustino Maria Russolillo, and Charles de Foucauld and
o four women — Maria Rivier, Maria Francesca of Jesus Rubatto, Maria of Jesus Santocanale, and Maria Domenica Mantovani

Practice Question:
1. Consider the following statements regarding Virus Like Vaccine:
1. A virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate that uses proteins from the outer shells of the viruses.
2. VLP causes infection as it contains the genetic material.
Select the correct answer using the given code below:
A. 1 Only
B. 2 Only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2
2. Consider the following statements regarding Election Commission:
1. Election commission has been multi member body since its inception.
2. Chief election commissioner has a casting vote in case of deadlock like RBI governor.
3. Constitution has debarred Election commissioners from any further appointments.
Select the correct answer using the given code below:
A. 1 and 2 Only
B. 2 and 3 Only
C. 1, 2 and 3
D. None of the above
3. Which of the following pairs are CORRECTLY matched?
1. First Buddhist Council: At Rajgir
2. Second Buddhist Council: At Patliputra
3. Third Buddhist Council: At Vaishali
4. Fourth Buddhist Council: At Kashmir

Select CORRECT code given below

A. 1, 2 and 3 Only
B. 1, 2 and 4 Only
C. 1 and 4 Only
D. 2 and 3 Only