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19 June, 2020

89 Min Read

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Paper Topics Subject
GS-I Anti-cyclone in North-east Asia Human Geography
GS-II Galwan Situation
GS-III India to be the manufacturing hub for E-vehicles in next 5 years
Carbon emissions sharply rebound as countries lift coronavirus restrictions
SEBI’s Measure to Increase Market Liquidity Economic Issues
RBI Norms for NBFC’s Economic Issues
PT Pointer Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan
I-Lab
PBC Complex
Umifenovir
NavRakshak
Tala Maddale, Tulu Yakshagana in Udupi Art and Culture
Yakshagana Art and Culture
Kodumanal Modern History
Megaliths Modern History
GS-I : Human Geography
Anti-cyclone in North-east Asia

Role of Anti-cyclone in North-east Asia

New research has revealed a link between an increase in extreme summer heat events in Northeast Asia and the role of anticyclones in the region. Extreme heat events have increased across the world and are responsible for a large number of deaths and harming crops and livestock as well.

Nearly half of the magnitude of the 2018 extreme heat event across China and Japan was caused by anomalous anticyclones in Northeast Asia.

There are mainly 2 factors which make the extreme heat events more likely to occur over Northeast Asia.

  • Dynamic (anticyclone) and thermodynamic (mean temperature shifts to warmer states and increasing greenhouse gases) changes in the atmosphere.
  • Anticyclones similar to those in 2018 became more common and worse in recent decades (1991-2017) than the past (1958-1990).
  • The more extreme the heat event, the larger the contribution of the thermodynamic change will be.

Anti-Cyclone

An anticyclone is a large-scale circulation of winds around high atmospheric pressure, clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

It cause clear skies and high temperatures and responsible for settled weather conditions. Fog can also form overnight within a region of higher pressure.

It can form within warm core lows such as tropical cyclones, due to descending cool air from the backside of upper troughs such as polar highs, or from large scale sinking such as the subtropical ridge. The evolution of an anticyclone depends upon variables such as its size, intensity, and extent of moist convection, as well as the Coriolis force.

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GS-II :
Galwan Situation

Galwan Situation

 Is the situation serious?

  • This is the first time after the 1962 War that soldiers have died in clashes on the India-China border in Ladakh.
  • Even otherwise, the last deaths on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were an ambush of an Assam Rifles patrol in Arunachal Pradesh by the Chinese in 1975.
  • But the last real military engagement between the two armies was at Nathu La in Sikkim in 1967, in which 88 Indian soldiers lost their lives, and more than 300 Chinese soldiers were killed.
  • But all these incidents were prior to the two countries signing, starting from 1993, various agreements for maintaining peace and tranquility on the border.

But no rounds were fired by either side. Isn’t that a good thing?

Not really.

  • If such a large number of soldiers could be killed without firing a round, it means that these deaths were far more brutal than they would have been had guns and rifles been used.
  • However, that it remained restricted to a physical brawl points to the fact that there was no escalation to a kinetic level — rifles, howitzers, rockets, missiles, and fighter jets.
  • China and India are both nuclear powers, and any climbing up the escalation ladder is fraught.
  • Even at Nathu La, before the military engagement escalated to artillery guns and threats of fighter jets, there was a scuffle between the soldiers of the two armies on the border.

 So, what exactly happened in the Galwan Valley on Monday?

  • Tensions had been running high in the area for the past few weeks, with a large number of soldiers and military equipment deployed along the LAC by both sides.
  • Even though the LAC in Galwan Valley was never disputed by the two sides, the Chinese had moved into the Indian side of the LAC.
  • After the meeting at the level of Corps Commanders on June 6, negotiations had been conducted between local military commanders of both the armies for a mutually agreed disengagement process.
  • As part of that process, a buffer zone had been agreed to be created between the LAC and the junction of the Shyok and Galwan rivers to avoid any faceoff between the two armies. The two armies were to move back by a kilometre each in that area as a first step.
  • When Colonel B Santosh Babu, who was monitoring this process, noticed that a Chinese camp was still existing in the area, he went to get it removed. This soon led to fisticuffs and blows being exchanged, resulting in deaths and injuries.

Were the Indian soldiers not carrying weapons?

  • No, this is as per the drill followed by both sides in the border areas to avoid inadvertent escalation by opening fire.
  • This is in tune with the 1996 agreement between the two countries on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas, which imposed a lot of restrictions on military equipment, exercises, blasts, and aircraft in the vicinity of the LAC.

But if there were no shots fired, how did the soldiers die?

  • Since the time tensions have erupted on the Ladakh border, there have been reports of some scuffles between the soldiers of both the armies.
  • At Pangong Tso on the intervening night of May 5/6, there was a major scuffle between the soldiers in which more than 70 Indian soldiers were injured.
  • In most of these scuffles, the Chinese have used bats, clubs, sticks and stones to cause major injuries.
  • In Monday’s clash, besides the use of these blunt objects to cause injuries, some soldiers, it has been learnt, could have been pushed into the fast-flowing Galwan river.
  • Most of the deaths were due to injuries aggravated by the intense cold in the high-altitude area.

And how many Chinese soldiers were killed or injured in the clash?

  • The official statements put out by the Army and the Ministry of External Affairs have no details of any deaths or injuries to Chinese soldiers, although the first statement by the Army on Tuesday was amended to say that there were casualties “on both sides”.
  • The Chinese government or the PLA too, have not provided any details of soldiers killed or injured in the clash.
  • The only numbers that have come from are from the news agency ANI, which has quoted unnamed sources claiming that as per radio transmission intercepts, 43 Chinese soldiers were either killed or injured in the clash.
  • Another report in usnews.com has cited “American intelligence” to say that 35 Chinese troops, including an officer, are believed to have died.

Has the situation now been defused at the site of the clash?

 

  • A meeting at the level of Major Generals of both armies took place
  • It brought the situation under control, and the Indian side was able to collect all the bodies.
  • The Chinese were given permission to bring in helicopters to ferry their injured back.

Tensions must then be high at the Ladakh border?

  • Yes, tensions have already been running high at various places on the Ladakh border where Indian and Chinese soldiers have been facing each other on the LAC since May.
  • The latest incident has added to the tensions, but there have been no reports of any other clashes at the border.

So what does all this mean? What is the key takeaway?

  • There were hopes of an early disengagement and de-escalation after conciliatory statements from both countries in the past few days, after the meeting at the level of Corps Commander on June 6.
  • But after this incident, that process is likely to take a back seat, and an early resolution now looks unlikely.
  • China has reasserted its claim over Galwan Valley, and its army has made sharp statements alleging that Indian soldiers twice crossed the LAC.
  • The MEA too, has categorically stated that the Chinese had violated the LAC in the Galwan Valley region, which had led to the current situation.

Can the situation escalate hereon?

  • As the two countries are still talking at military and diplomatic levels, any escalation into a major conflict looks some distance away at this moment.
  • A military conflict, if it occurs, can be localised to one area, can be along the whole border, or can be in any one sector.
  • But unless there is another provocation and crisis, the two sides should be able to resolve the situation peacefully.
  • Simultaneously, it will continue to use diplomatic channels to resolve the crisis, while controlling the domestic messaging to avoid inflaming public emotions that can create pressure on it to act strongly against China.
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GS-III :
India to be the manufacturing hub for E-vehicles in next 5 years

India to be the manufacturing hub for E-vehicles in next 5 years

  • Union Minister for Road Transport& Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari has expressed confidence that in the next five years, India will become a manufacturing hub for electric vehicles.
  • He said, the Government is trying to extend best possible concessions to this sector, and has lowered the GST on electrical vehicles to 12 per cent.
  • Addressing a webinar on ‘India's Electric Vehicle Roadmap post-COVID-19’ today, the Minister said, he was aware of the issues facing the EV sector, but was also sure of the things to change as the sales volumes increase.
  • The world is no more interested in doing business with China, which is a very good opportunity for Indian industry to pick up the shift in business.
  • With petroleum fuel being available in limited quantity, the world has to look for alternate and cheap sources of power.
  • Electric and bio fuels stand a good chance for adoption.
  • He also indicated towards the ensuing vehicle scrapping policy, and commented that it will give a fillip to auto manufacturing sector.
  • The Minister recalled the London model of public transport, where private and public investment is working well.
  • He said, adopting similar approach will be beneficial for both the poor commuters and the civic administration.
  • He indicated towards working on a pilot project for developing an electric highway on the upcoming Delhi-Mumbai Green Corridor.

 

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GS-III :
Carbon emissions sharply rebound as countries lift coronavirus restrictions

Carbon emissions sharply rebound as countries lift coronavirus restrictions

Key Points

  • Carbon emissions are now surging back to prepandemic levels as states and countries reopen, a grim reminder that the world is still grappling with accelerating climate change.
  • By mid-June, global emissions rebounded to roughly 5% below 2019 levels and in emissions in China returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to an update in a May study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
  • During lockdowns, vehicle traffic was cut in half in the U.S. and Europe, but more people are getting back on the road and taking cars over public transportation.

NEWS

  • Worldwide coronavirus lockdowns caused carbon emissions to plummet this spring, as people stayed inside their homes, factories shut down, airlines grounded their planes and traffic subsided on major highways.
  • But emissions are now surging back to pre-pandemic levels as states and countries reopen, a rebound scientists have warned about since the start of the lockdowns and a grim reminder that the world is still grappling with accelerating climate change.
  • In early January, global emissions were at roughly 2019 levels.
  • By early April, emissions fell by about 17% during the peak lockdowns.
  • But by mid-June, when countries began lifting restrictions, emissions increased to about 5% below the 2019 levels
  • The impact the pandemic will have on 2020 emissions depends on how long it takes for all lockdown measures to be lifted and how swiftly business and consumer activity returns to normal levels.
  • Scientists estimate a potential reduction of 4% for the year if pre-pandemic conditions return by mid-June and a high estimate of 7% if some restrictions remain until the end of 2020.
  • Scientists say the estimated 4% to 7% decline in emissions for 2020 isn’t nearly enough to combat global warming.
  • The only way to actually reduce emissions long term is if countries implement clean energy policy to bring global emissions to almost zero.

Changing attitude of the world countries to control climate change

  • The Trump administration is reversing more than 100 environmental regulations after three years in office and China continues to build more coal plants.
  • Most changes observed in 2020 are likely to be temporary as they do not reflect structural changes in the economic, transport or energy systems.
  • In fact, the economic fallout from the virus will likely hinder long-term climate change action by compromising global investments in clean energy and weakening industry environmental goals to reduce emissions.
  • Many governments have failed to offer economic stimulus packages that invest in low carbon infrastructure.

Way ahead

  • Activities like walking and cycling, which allow people to socially distance, could help to cut back carbon emissions and air pollution as states and countries reopen.
  • Some cities are looking to address the surge in vehicle use amid reopening, including Bogota, Colombia, New York, Paris and Berlin, which have added more street space for walkers and cyclists.

 

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GS-III : Economic Issues
SEBI’s Measure to Increase Market Liquidity

SEBI’s Measure to Increase Market Liquidity

In April, SEBI had relaxed certain regulatory requirements related to rights issues and initial public offerings (IPOs) to help companies to raise funds during this pandemic. It allowed any listed entity with a market capitalization of at least Rs.100 crore could use the fast- track route for a rights issue. Earlier, the norm was ?250 crore for such offerings.

Further, any company that had been listed for 18 months was permitted to raise funds through a fast- track rights issue. Earlier it was 3 years. Also, the minimum subscription requirement to make an issue successful was lowered from the earlier 90% of the offer size to 75%.

  • Recently, SEBI has allowed companies to make 2 qualified institutional placements (QIPs) with a gap of just 2 weeks between them.
  • This is a significant move as the earlier regulations mandated a minimum gap of 6 months between two such issuances.
  • It also permitted promoters to increase their stakes in their companies through preferential allotments by up to 10% without triggering an open offer, the cap was earlier set at 5%.
  • SEBI allowed the above relaxation only for the current financial year.
  • These moves would help in enhancing liquidity in the market as companies would be able to better time fund-raising while promoters could also acquire shares at a time when valuations were quite low compared with the historic highs.

SEBI

  • It was first established in 1988 (originally formed in 1992) as a non-statutory body for regulating the securities market.
  • It was given Statutory Powers through the SEBI Act, 1992.
  • It was constituted as the regulator of capital markets in India under a resolution of the Government of India.
  • After the amendment of 1999, collective investment schemes were brought under SEBI except Nidhis, chit funds and cooperatives.

The SEBI is managed by its members, which consists of the following:

  • The chairman is nominated by the Union Government of India.
  • Two members, i.e., Officers from the Union Finance Ministry.
  • One member from the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The remaining five members are nominated by the Union Government of India, out of them at least three shall be whole-time members.
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GS-III : Economic Issues
RBI Norms for NBFC’s

RBI Norms for NBFC’s

A housing finance company is considered a non-banking financial company (NBFC) under the RBI’s regulations. A company is treated as an NBFC if its financial assets are more than 50% of its total assets and income from financial assets is more than 50% of the gross income.

  • RBI has proposed stringent norms for housing finance companies by mandating 75% of their home loans to individual borrowers by 2024.
  • Recently, RBI has proposed the definition of qualifying assets for housing finance companies (HFCs).
  • It defined ‘qualifying assets’ as loans to individuals or a group of individuals, including co-operative societies, for construction/purchase of new dwelling units, loans to individuals for renovation of existing dwelling units, lending to builders for construction of residential dwelling units.
  • Non-Housing loans - All other loans, including those given for furnishing dwelling units, loans given against mortgage of property for any purpose other than buying/construction of a new dwelling units or renovation of the existing dwelling units.
  • Under new definition at least 50% of net assets should be in the nature of ‘qualifying assets’ for HFCs, of which at least 75% should be towards individual housing loans.(PT)
  • Such HFCs which do not fulfil the criteria will be treated as NBFC – Investment and Credit Companies (NBFC-ICCs).
  • They will be required to approach the RBI for conversion of their Certificate of Registration from HFC to NBFC-ICC.
  • The NBFC-ICCs which want to continue as HFCs would have to follow a roadmap to make 75% of their assets individual housing loans.
  • The central bank also proposed a minimum net-owned fund (NOF) of ?20 crore as compared to ?10 crore now.
  • Existing HFCs would have to reach ?15 crore within a year and ?20 crore within two years.
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GS-II :
Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

  • Government of India has decided to launch a massive rural public works scheme ‘Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan’to empower and provide livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens.
  • PM Modi will launch this Abhiyaan on 20th June, 2020 .
  • The Abhiyaan will be launched from Village – Telihar, Khagaria District of Bihar.
  • The villages across 116 districts in the six States will join this programme through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras, maintaining the norms of social distancing in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • This campaign of 125 days, which will work in mission mode, will involve intensified and focused implementation of 25 different types of works to provide employment to the migrant workers on one hand and create infrastructure in the rural regions of the country on the other hand, with  a resource envelope of Rs. 50,000 crore.
  • A total of 116 Districts with more than 25,000 returnee migrant workers across six States, namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha have been chosen for the campaign which includes 27 Aspirational Districts.
  • These districts are estimated to cover about 2/3 of such migrant workers.
  • The Abhiyaan will be a coordinated effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments, namely, Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture.
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GS-III :
I-Lab

I-Lab

  • The Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated and flagged off India’s first I-Lab (Infectious disease diagnostic lab) for Covid testing in rural and inaccessible areas of India.     
  • Expressing his happiness to launch the I-Lab, infectious disease diagnostic laboratory- a mobile testing facility, Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated this facility to provide Covid testing access to rural India.
  • This mobile testing facility will be deployed through the DBT testing hubs to remote regions of the country for Covid testing.
  • DBT is scaling-up testing for Covid by reorienting premiere laboratories as Covid testing centers in a hub and spoke model.
  • There are now over 20 hubs in the country with 100 testing laboratories and these have tested more than 2,60,000 samples.
  • This has been possible through the DBT-AMTZ COVID Command Consortia (COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia) to cope-up with the current situation in the country and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency.
  • The I-lab will be deployed through these hubs into remote and interior place.
  • Today there are 953 testing laboratories in all corners of the country .
  • Dr. Renu Swarup said on the occasion that through the concerted efforts Indian scientists, the country has achieved a capacity of producing nearly 5 lakh testing kits per day, exceeding the target of having one lakh test kits by May 31, 2020.
  • She pointed out that this I-Lab has been created in a record time of 8 days by the Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone team with the support of DBT under the National Biopharma Mission being implemented by the Public Sector BIRAC.
  • She highlighted that the unit has biosafety facility and is capable of performing RT-PCR as well as ELISA tests.

DBT-AMTZ COMManD

  • The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology along with Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) has initiated the DBT-AMTZ COMManD [COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development] Consortia to address the shortage of critical healthcare technologies in India and move progressively towards a stage of self-sufficiency.
  • Under this Consortia, India’s first I- lab (infectious disease diagnostic lab) has been built at AMTZ in record time of 8 days from the date of receipt of Automotive Chassis, from Bharat Benz.
  • This is a mobile diagnostic unit with biosafety facility.
  • The I- lab is a BSL-2 facility with on-site ELISA, RT-PCR, Bio chemistry analysers.
  • It can run 50 RT-PCR reactions and about 200 ELISA in a day.
  • Double set of Machines can help increase the capacity to about 500 per day in 8 hours shift
  • It can be deployed in remote areas and can be lifted from Automotive Chassis and can be put on goods train for sending to any location in the country.
  • The BSL -2 Lab is as per NABL specifications and is being attached to DBT’s certified Testing centres.

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), under the Ministry of Science & Technology, promotes and accelerates the development of biotechnology in India, including growth and application of biotechnology in the areas of agriculture, healthcare, animal sciences, environment and industry.

 

  • AMTZ is Asia's first medical equipment manufacturing ecosystem, uniquely dedicated for Medtech and supported by various Ministries.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY (I-LAB)

  • To promote last mile access of testing to rural India, DBT under the Covid-Command strategy has supported building of mobile testing labs through AMTZ.
  • The unique feature of these mobile testing labs is their utility in diagnosing other infectious diseases beyond the Covid period

Specifications

  • Automotive Chassis, Diagnostic Equipment, Clean Room, BSL-2 lab, bio-safety cabinets
  • 25 Tests (RT-PCR) per I-Lab per Day
  • 300 ELISA tests/day
  • Additional test for other diseases for TB, HIV etc. tol be costed as per CGHS rates.
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GS-III :
PBC Complex

SERB supported study shows that collapse of respiratory center in the brain may cause breakdown of COVID-19 patients

  • The team of researchers at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Kolkata has explored the neuro-invasive potential of SARS-CoV-2 and suggested that the virus may infect respiratory centre of the brain and attention should be focused on the respiratory centre of the central nervous system to search for mortality due to COVID 19.
  • The paper published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience and supported by Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), a Statutory Body of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), implies that SARS-CoV-2 virus might enter the human brain through the nose and reaches the olfactory bulb of the brain.
  • From there, SARS-CoV-2 virus might infect PreBötzinger complex (PBC), the primary center of the brain that controls the respiratory rhythm generation.
  • This explains that collapse of the respiratory center in the brain may be responsible for breakdown of COVID-19 patients.
  • Although, lung is one of the most infected organs, several other organs, including the brain, are also affected.
  • This is the first report that highlights the SARS-CoV-2 may target the PBC of the brainstem that controls respiration and causes respiratory collapse of COVID-19 patients.
  • The scientists have suggested that cerebrospinal fluid of COVID-19 patients and postmortem brain of deceased patients should be assessed to better understand the route of SARS-CoV-2 entry and its spread to respiratory center of brain.

PreBötzinger complex

  • PreBötzinger complex functions as the primary respiratory oscillator and it has been proposed as a center of respiration.
  • It has been earlier shown that disruption of PBC causes lethality due to respiratory failure, suggesting its central role in respiratory rhythm generation.
  • It is possible that SARS-CoV-2 may shut down respiratory center, and in turn breathing by infecting and destroying the PBC of the brainstem.
  • Although this underline hypothesis needs to be validated for SARS-CoV-2, another recent study from a group of scientists at King’s College London, UK highlighting loss of smell was one of main symptoms of COVID-19 patients, hinting at the involvement of the same route through which SARS-CoV-2 may enter the brain.
  • SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV not only share high levels of DNA sequence similarity, both of them exploit the same angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, through which the virus enters in target cells.
  • Due to this, it was anticipated that the mechanism through which SARS-CoV infected the host cell could also be the same for SARS-CoV-2. 

Way ahead

  • The study highlights that it is important to not only screen the COVID-19 patients for neurological symptoms but also further segregate when the symptom appears.
  • The researchers have pointed out that while at present, the brain is not considered as the site of primary or secondary reason for death of COVID-19, attention need to be focused towards the respiratory center of CNS.
  • Postmortem of brain of COVID-19 patients could be assessed to know the route of entry and affected areas including detailed assessment of respiratory center of the brain.
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GS-III :
Umifenovir

CSIR-CDRI’s candidate drug Umifenovir secures DCGI approval for Phase III Clinical Trial against COVID-19

Context

  • CSIR constituent lab CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute(CDRI) Lucknow, has received permission for carrying out Phase III randomised, Double blind, Placebo controlled trial of efficacy, safety and tolerability of antiviral drug Umifenovir.

Umifenovir

  • This drug has a good safety profile and acts by preventing entry of virus into human cells and also by priming the immune system.
  • Umifenovir is mainly used for treatment of influenza and is available in China and Russia, and has recently come into prominence due to its potential use for Covid19 patients.
  • To evaluate its efficacy in Indian patients, CSIR-CDRI has taken up the clinical trial.
  • Further it has developed the process technology for Umifenovir in record time and licensed the economical process technology for manufacturing and marketing the drug to M/s. Medizest Pharmaceuticals Private Ltd. Goa, who have already received test license from DCGI.
  • All the raw materials for the drug are indigenously available and if the clinical trial is successful, Umifenovir can be a safe, efficacious, affordable drug against COVID-19 and can be part of National Program against COVID-19.
  • Prof. Kundu also added that this drug has the potential for prophylactic use(intended to prevent disease.)

 

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GS-III :
NavRakshak

An enterprise of DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, NRDC Licenses NavRakshak PPE Suit Manufacturing Know-how to Five MSMEs Developed by Indian Navy

  • National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) has licensed the manufacturing know-how of a PPE Suit being named as NavRakshak to five MSME to meet the ongoing country wide demand of quality PPE kits.
  • These five manufacturers put together are planning to mass produce more than 10 million PPEs per year.
  • The manufacturing know-how of NavRakshak PPE has been developed at the Innovation Cell of the Institute of Naval Medicine, INHS Asvini Hospital (Mumbai) of the Indian Navy from where the name ‘NavRakshak’ is derived.
  • The PPE has been tested and certified at the INMAS, DRDO which is one of the nine NABL accredited labs authorised by Ministry of Textile currently in India for PPE prototype sample testing as per the prevailing ISO standards and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare/Ministry of Textile guidelines and has been found to meet the synthetic blood penetration resistance criteria for both the fabric, suit, and seam.

Advantages of NavRakshak

  • It is cost effective as it does not require any major capital investment and can be adopted even by gown manufacturing units using basic stitching expertise.
  • The technology and quality of fabric is so superior that there is no need of sealing around the seam of the PPE suit, thus eliminating the need of importing costly sealing machines and tapes.
  • The PPE fabric even does not require any lamination with polymer or plastic-like film.
  • This enables the PPE to permeate heat and moisture from the skin of the user.
  • It gives protection but does not compromise on comfort.
  • This uniqueness of the PPE makes it way different from the existing PPEs which are being used during the ongoing COVID pandemic.
  • The PPE suit is available in single-ply as well as double-ply versions as per the need of the end use conditions.
  • It also comes with a head gear; face mask and shoe cover up to the mid-thigh level.
  • NavRakshak has been designed by a Naval doctor incorporating personal experience in using the PPE for the comfort and protection of the doctors.
  • The enhanced breathability factor in the PPE suit makes it an attractive proposition to be used by the frontline health workers who are required to wear these suits for long hours and face extreme discomfort while working.
  • Since the concept of using uncoated, unlaminated or untapped PPE has been provided for the first time, and using such PPE was not practised at all, there was a need to protect the IP rights of this innovation.
  • A patent application has been filed for the NavRakshak PPE by the inventors through NRDC.
  • This technology can resolve many issues at one go.
  • It makes manufacturing easy without requiring big capital investment.
  • It does not require coating and taping related equipment.
  • Therefore, foreign import and costly machines are not required.
  • It gives protection as well as comfort to the user.
  • Above all, it gives self-sustainability to the country.

 

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GS-I : Art and Culture
Tala Maddale, Tulu Yakshagana in Udupi

Tala Maddale, Tulu Yakshagana in Udupi

  • Tala-Maddale is an ancient form of performance dialogue or debate performance in Southern India in the Karavali and Malnad regions of Karnataka and Kerala.
  • The plot and content of the conversation is drawn from popular mythology but the performance mainly consists of an impromptu debate between characters involving sarcasm, puns, philosophy positions and humour.
  • The main plot is sung from the same oral texts used for the Yakshgana form of dance- drama.
  • Performers claim that this was a more intellectual rendition of the dance during the monsoon season.
  • The art form is popular in Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Shimoga districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala.
  • It is a derived form of Yakshagana—a classical dance or musical form of art from the same region.
  • A typical Tala-Maddale show consists of veteran artists sitting in a circular fashion along with a Bhagavata (the singer, with "Tala" or pair of small hand cymbals) and a "Maddale" (a type of drum) player.
  • Artists play the roles of characters in stories, typically, from Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other puranas.
  •  Some consider them as a good presentation of oratorial skills.
  • Artists are normally well versed with the Hindu epics and puranas.
  • Kannada language is the normal medium of communication.
  • Tala-Maddale performances are mostly held during the night, the traditional reason being that in ancient times, people finished their work by this time and assembled in temples to watch Tala Maddale.
  • It is organized by either hobbyists who are interested in the art at their houses or as a public event in villages and towns.

 

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GS-I : Art and Culture
Yakshagana

Yakshagana

About:

  • Yakshagana is a traditional theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form.
  • Yakshagana literally means the song (gana) of the yaksha (nature spirits).
  • It developed in Udupi, in the state of Karnataka. It is popular in the Karnataka districts of Dakshina Kannada, Kasaragod, Udupi, Uttara Kannada and Shimoga .
  • This folk art is believed to have originated somewhere in between the 10th and 16th century.
  • Theme: Yakshagana is strongly influenced by the Vaishnava Bhakti movement.
  • Its stories are mainly drawn from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and other Hindu epics.

Key Features:

  • A typical Yakshagana performance consists of background music played by a group of musicians (known as the himmela); and a dance and dialog group (known as the mummela), who together enact poetic epics on stage.
  • Yakshagana is traditionally presented from dusk to dawn.

Types:

  1. The tenkutittu style: It is prevalent in Dakshina Kannada. Tenkutittu is noted for its incredible dance steps; its high flying dance moves; and its extravagant rakshasas (demons).
  2. The Badagutittu style: It is prevalent in Uttara Kannada District and places more emphasis on facial expressions, matugarike (dialogues), and dances appropriate for the character depicted in the episode.
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GS-I : Modern History
Kodumanal

Kodumanal reveals megalithic belief in afterlife

  • The Kodumanal excavation of 10 pots and bowls, instead of the usual three or four pots, placed outside three-chambered burial cists and inside the cairn-circle, threw light on burial rituals and the concept of afterlife in megalithic culture.
  • A team from the State Department of Archaeology, Chennai, led by J. Ranjith, Archaeology Officer and Project Director for the Kodumanal excavation, has identified 250 cairn-circles at the village in Erode district.
  • Earlier excavations revealed that the site served as a trade-cum-industrial centre from 5th century BCE to 1st century BCE.
  • The rectangular chambered cists, each two metres long and six metres wide, are made of stone slabs, and the entire grave is surrounded by boulders that form a circle.
  • The grave could be of a village head or the head of the community as the size of two boulders, each facing east and west, are bigger than other boulders.
  • Believing that the deceased person will get a new life after death, pots and bowls filled with grains were placed outside the chambers.
  • This is probably the first time that 10 pots have been found near the cists during excavations in the State.
  • Previous excavations have revealed that multi-ethnic groups lived at the village, located about 500 metres away from the Noyyal river.
  • Mr. Ranjith told The Hindu that the findings unearthed so far include an animal skull, possibly of a wolf or a dog; precious stones like beryl, carnelian, quartz, jasper, beads, gold pieces and needles; copper smelting units; the mud walls of a workshop; potteries; and Tamil Brahmi script.

 

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GS-I : Modern History
Megaliths

Megaliths

  • While “megalith” is often used to describe a single piece of stone, it also can be used to denote one or more rocks hewn in a definite shapes for special purposes.
  • It has been used to describe structures built by people from many parts of the world living in many different periods.

Types of Megalith structures

  1. Menhir: Menhir is the name used in Western Europe for a single upright stone erected in prehistoric times; sometimes called a “standing stone”.
  2. Monolith: Any single standing stone erected in prehistoric times. Sometimes synonymous with “megalith” and “menhir”; for later periods, the word monolith is more likely to be used to describe single stones.
  3. Capstone style: Single megaliths placed horizontally, often over burial chambers, without the use of support stones.
  4. Stone circles: In most languages, stone circles are called “cromlechs” (a word in the Welch language); the word “cromlech” is sometimes used with that meaning in English.
  5. Dolmen: A Dolmen is a megalithic form created by placing a large capstone on two or more support stones creating a chamber below, sometimes closed in on one or more sides. Often used as a tomb or burial chamber.
  6. Cist: Cist is a small stone-built coffin-like box or ossuary used to hold the bodies of the dead. Burials are megalithic forms very similar to dolmens in structure. These type of burials were completely underground. There were single- and multiple-chambered cists.

Megaliths in India

  • Megaliths in India are dated before 3000 BC, with recent findings dated back to 5000 BC in southern India.
  • Megaliths are found in almost all parts of southern India.
  • There is also a broad time evolution with the megaliths in central India and the upper Indus valley where the oldest megaliths are found, while those in the east are of much later date.
  • A large fraction of these is assumed to be associated with burial or post burial rituals, including memorials for those whose remains may or may not be available.
  • The case-example is that of Brahmagiri, which was excavated in 1975 and helped establish the culture sequence in south Indian prehistory.
  • However, there is another distinct class of megaliths that do not seem to be associated with burials.

In India, megaliths of all kinds are noted; these vary from Menhirs, Rock-cut burial, chamber tomb, dolmens, stone alignment, stone circles and anthropomorphic figures.

Megalith Sites in India

Site Name and Types of Structures

District

State

Nilaskal

Hosanagar

Karnataka

Hire Benkal

Thrissur

Kerala

Chamber Tomb: Hire Benakal

Koppala

Karnataka

Dolmens: Hire Benakal

Koppala

Karnataka

Hanamsagar

Koppala

Karnataka

Kudakkallu Parambu

Thrissur

Kerala

Junapani

Nagpur

Maharashtra

 

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