12 May, 2020
55 Min Read
|GS-I||Polar vortex brings spring snow||Human Geography|
|GS-III||National Technology Day-Technology Development Board|
|One Nation One Ration Card system.|
|ICMR's clearance on using convalescent plasma therapy|
|National Technology Day|
|PT Pointer||Gandhi Peace Prize|
|City Liveability Index||Human Geography|
|Bright nights||Human Geography|
|Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI)||Economic Issues|
Part of: GS-I- Geography (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Winter in May - snowfall covers parts of the northeast United States and Canada. A polar vortex has brought cold weather and springtime snow to parts of the northeast United States and Canada.
The stream of arctic air slipped south on Saturday, bringing the unusual weather. In many areas, snow flurries fell against a backdrop of sunny skies, green trees and flowers. The US National Weather Service issued a freeze warning extending into early Sunday for most of the country's northeast.
Parts of New Jersey woke up to a rather cold surprise on Saturday with a dusting of snow as temperatures in some areas of the US state dropped to below zero degrees Celsius.
What it is?
Recently, the United States is grappling with extreme cold with temperature reaching to -30°C in cities like Chicago and Dakota.
How is it Linked to Global Warming
Part of: GS-I- CULTURE (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Toda artisans from the Nilgiris have come forward to use their traditional skills in making face-masks and to help people ward off the infection and also provide Todas with livelihood.
For GI read: https://www.aspireias.com/daily-news-analysis-current-affairs/Bangalore-Blue-for-Karnatakas-and-GI-analysis
National Technology Day
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today paid tributes to all the scientists in the country who are using science and technology to bring a positive difference in the lives of others.
On National Technology Day (May 11th), our nation salutes all those who are leveraging technology to bring a positive difference in the lives of others.
About National Technology Day
India is observing its 29th National Technology Day on May 11,2020. The day, which was first observed on May 11, 1999, aims to commemorate the scientific and technological achievements of Indian scientists and engineers.
1. May 11 is also the day when India conducted its first successful test in Pokhran. On May 11, 1998, India successfully fired the Shakti-I nuclear missile at an Army test range in Rajasthan’s Pokhran. Two days later, the country conducted two more nuclear tests as a part of the same operation, following which India joined the elite club of nuclear power nations.
2. The day also marks the flight of indigenously developed Hansa-3. It was developed jointly by National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab.
3. On the same day, that is, May 11, 1988, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) completed the final test fire of the surface-to-air Trishul missile.
4. Former Indian PM Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee coined this term to celebrate the contributions made by Indian scientists.
5. Every year since 1999, the Technology Development Board (TBD) celebrates this day by awarding individuals for their scientific contributions to India.
About Technology Development Board
The Government of India constituted the Technology Development Board (TDB) in September 1996, under the Technology Development Board Act, 1995, as a statutory body, to promote development and commercialization of indigenous technology and adaptation of imported technology for wider application. The board consists of 11 Board members.
The TDB is the first organization of its kind within the government framework with the sole objective of commercializing the fruit of indigenous research. The Board plays a pro-active role by encouraging enterprises to take up technology oriented products.
Provides equity capital or loans to industrial concerns and financial assistance to research and development institutions.
The Fund has been receiving grants from the Government of India out of the cess collections from the industrial concerns under the provisions of the Research and Development Cess Act, 1986, as amended in 1995. Any income from investment of the amount of the Fund and the recoveries made of the amounts disbursed from the Fund are credited for building up the Fund. The finance Act, 1999, enabled full deductions to the donations made to the fund for income tax purposes.
The objectives are to:
One Nation One Ration Card system.
The timeline given to all States/UTs, under the Aadhaar notification of the Department of Food and Public Distribution dated 07.02.2017 (as amended from time-to-time) to complete the seeding of Aadhaar numbers with all ration cards/beneficiaries, has been extended up to 30/09/2020 by the Department.
Further, instructions are also issued that food grains under NFSA shall not be denied due to failure of biometric / Aadhaar authentication of beneficiary because of poor biometrics of the beneficiary, issues with network/connectivity/linking or any other technical reasons. During the current crisis situation, a pragmatic approach is needed so that no poor or deserving person or family is denied access to food grains.
About Integrated Management of PDS
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution has launched a new central sector scheme- Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IMPDS). It will be implemented during 2018-19 and 2019-20.
To sustain the reforms brought in by scheme on ‘End to End Computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) Operations’ the Department has launched a new scheme namely “Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)” for implementation during 2018-19 and 2019-20.
The main objective of the scheme is to introduce nation-wide portability of ration card (One Nation-One Ration Card) holders under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), to lift their entitlement foodgrains from any FPS of their choice in the country without the need of obtaining a new ration card, by integrating the existing PDS systems/portals of States/UTs with the Central systems/portals under Central Repository of all NFSA ration cards/beneficiaries thereby enabling One Nation One Ration Card system.
The central repository also ensures that no duplicate ration card/beneficiary exist in any State/UT under NFSA
With a view to address challenges such as leakage and diversion of foodgrains, inclusion/exclusion errors, fake and bogus ration cards, Government is implementing a scheme on “End-to-End Computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) Operations”.
The scheme comprises digitization of ration cards/beneficiary and other databases, online allocation, computerization of supply-chain management, setting up of transparency portal and grievance redressal mechanisms
ICMR's clearance on using convalescent plasma therapy
The U.S. FDA and India’s ICMR have approved the use of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients only for trial purposes.
With the ethics committee approval in hand on May 8, the ICMR cleared the last hurdle to conduct a multicentric phase-2 trial using convalescent plasma on COVID-19 patients with moderate illness.
Phase 2 trial- to check the efficacy of Plasma therapy
Convalescent plasma therapy
Convalescent plasma therapy, about a century old, has shown some benefit in treating measles, chickenpox and rabies.
Small studies have shown faster clearance of virus in the case of MERS and SARS if given early in the course of the disease .
Issues in Convalescent plasma therapy
Even in the absence of any effective treatment or a vaccine, the pandemic provides an opportunity to ascertain the clinical benefits of plasma therapy through randomised controlled trials.
The ICMR’s insistence on an evidence-based approach to plasma therapy is in contrast to the cavalier manner in which it approved the anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine, as a prophylaxis(treatment given or action taken to prevent disease) for coronavirus without carrying out any trial and relying on evidence that was slim and intended only for treatment, and also when the risks were unknown.
If the trial outcomes are overwhelmingly positive, the agency would be ethically obliged to recommend plasma therapy as a standard of care for COVID-19 patients.
Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST)
Recently, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) has developed India’s first paper strip test for Covid-19 namely, ‘Feluda’.
National Technology Day
India is observing its 29th National Technology Day on 11th May, 2020.
The Ministry of Culture invites nominations for awarding Gandhi Peace Prize every year. The nominations are to be made in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Procedure for the Gandhi Peace Prize which is available in the Ministry of Culture.
About the Gandhi Peace Prize
About Indira Gandhi Prize
CSIR - National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) Bangalore, a constituent of the lab of CSIR has developed a Non-Invasive BiPAP Ventilator in a record time of 36 days to treat COVID-19 patients.
About BiPAP Non-Invasive ventilator
DRUVS and NOTESCLEAN Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS). Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) premier lab, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), has developed an automated contactless UVC sanitisation cabinet, called Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitise
MISSION SAGAR As part of the Government of India's outreach amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Naval Ship Kesari has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide Food Items, COVID related Medicines including HCQ Tablets and Special Ayurvedic Medi
COVID KAVACH ELISA Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune has developed and validated the indigenous IgG ELISA test “COVID KAVACH ELISA” for antibody detection for COVID-19. ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune is the apex
MICRODOT TECHNOLOGY Microdot Technology is a process of spraying thousands of microscopic dots onto vehicles or other assets in order to provide a unique identification. Each Microdot carries this unique identification which is registered to the owner but is not visible to the naked eye. Microdot T
Stringency Index Part of: GS-III- S&T (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) A Stringency Index created by Oxford University shows how strict a country’s measures were, and at what stage of the pandemic spread it enforced these. As per the index, India imposed its strictest
The magnetic field in Uranus Recently scientists have found that Uranus’ magnetic field gets flipped on and off like a light switch every day as the planet rotates. It is based on the data from NASA’s Voyager 2 Spacecraft. Uranus magnetic field is lopsided and tilted 60 de
COMMIT Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a new training programme Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training (COMMIT) for State Government officials. The objec
Deep Ocean Mission The government of India is all set to launch the ‘Deep Ocean Mission by January 2018 and it will improve India’s position in the ocean research field. Achievements in the field of ocean research: The program on Poly metallic nodules was initiated at C
The Reang of Tripura Reang or Riang are one of the 21 scheduled tribes of the Indian state of Tripura. They speak the Reang dialect of Kokborok language which is of Tibeto-Burmese origin and is locally referred to as Kau Bru. Education has been a pressing concern for the tribe. As
The trends shaping the post-COVID-19 world By, Rakesh Sood is a former diplomat and currently Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic began as a global health crisis. As it spread rapidly across nations, country after country responded wit
China began the mining of combustible ice (natural gas hydrates) The trial mining was conducted at a depth of 237-304 meters undersea in the Shenhu sea (PT) area, about 320 kilometres southeast of Zhuhai City in Guangdong Province. China has set two world records in terms of the total gas output
Cobra Lily The incredibly rare Arisaema translucent, more commonly known as the cobra lily, was recently rediscovered in the western Nilgiris after 84 years. They can be found only in a small area measuring less than 10 square kilometres in the Nilgiris. The Toda tribals of the Nilgir
Vaquita Porpoise With an estimated 30 or fewer individuals remaining, the vaquita porpoise — the world's most endangered marine mammal — may go extinct by 2018 if no action is taken to save them, a new study warns. Known as the 'panda of the sea' because of
Solibacillus kalamii Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the foremost lab of NASA for work on interplanetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late President. Even as it orbits the earth so
Turtle – Threats In an attempt to raise awareness on conservation of tortoise and turtles, and on illegal trafficking, May 23 is celebrated as World Turtle Day. In addition to smuggling, turtles face a variety of man-made issues that threaten their existence. One major threat, as with
UN releases commemorative postage stamp on anniversary of eradication of smallpox Part of: GS-II- International organisation (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN's postal agency have released a commemorative postage stamp today on the 40th anniversary of t
Monkeypox Virus Singapore recently reported the first ever case of the Monkeypox Virus, a rare virus similar to the human smallpox. About Monkeypox Virus: What is It? Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is an orthopoxvirus that causes a viral disease with symptoms in humans si
Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia)-Murder Hornet The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) has arrived in North America. This insect has attacked honeybees: it crawls into hives and rips off the heads of bees in large numbers—making its supervillain nickname, “murder hornet,”
Tamil Nadu to introduce an online application for RTI Part of: GS-II- Governance (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Applications seeking documents under the Right to Information (RTI) Act can now be filed online in Tamil Nadu. A Government Order issued by the Department of Personnel and Administrativ
Right to Information Part of: GS-IV- Ethics (PT-MAINS-PERSONALITY TEST) Historical Background The right to information gained power when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 providing everyone with the right to seek, and receive, information and ideas t
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