CAO Weekly News Roundup- October WEEK -02

India’s greenhouse gas emissions up by 4.7% in 2016 {Environment}


Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR)

  • The EDGAR information system is a joint project of the European Commission Joint Research Centre and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL).
  • It stores global emission inventories of greenhouse gases and air pollutants from anthropogenic sources both on a per country and region basis as well as on a grid.
  • According to its data, India’s emissions have gone up by 4.7% in 2016.
  • For most major GHG emitters in the world, the emission figures have gone down, barring India and Indonesia.
  • U.S. saw a fall of 2%, the Russian Federation 2.1%, Brazil 6.1%, China 0.3%, and, within the European Union, the United Kingdom 6.4%.

3-day science exhibition at IMMT from Oct 9 {Sci. & Tech}


ABOUT CSIRImage result for CSIR

  • Platinum Jubilee celebration of CSIR was recently celebrated.
  • It is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Science and Technology and the largest R&D organization in India.

Established in 1942, CSIR is the largest industrial research & development (R&D) organization in the world devoted to scientific and industrial research and S&T manpower development in India. CSIR’s network of 39 laboratories, spread all over India, is engaged in cutting edge research activities covering a wide range of scientific disciplines.

  • CSIR’s creative assets are its 10,000 highly qualified scientists and technologists. CSIR has made immense contributions to the economic and social development of India.
  • CSIR’s contributions to S&T human resource development are immense. Indeed a list of CSIR beneficiaries reads like who’s who of Indian science. CSIR is credited with having supported 50,000 research fellows/associates and 10,000 senior research associates so far.

Hitherto, the CSIR schemes catered to post-graduate and PhD students only. CSIR now seeks to enlarge upon the science support base by including school students as well.

Overall Objectives

  • The aim of the Scheme is to attract the best young school students towards science through a unique ‘hand holding’ experience.
  • The Scheme aims at encouraging youth to discover science as an exciting, rewarding and fulfilling career.
  • The scheme covers students at secondary and tertiary levels.

 Achievements of CSIR

  • CSIR and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) are jointly producing the Drishti system, a visibility measuring system that provides information to pilots on visiibility for safe landing and take-off operations, so as to enable the deploymen  of 70 such systems at Indian airports.
  • It has established the India’s first Lithium Ion Battery fabrication facility based on indigenous novel materials.
  • It developed Ksheer-Scanner, a new technical invention to detect the level of milk adulteration and adulterants.
  • It has designed the first ever standalone reading machine for visually impaired system called as “Divya Nayan”.
  • It pioneered DNA finger printing technique for medico-legal applications. India became the 3rd country to develop its own DNA finger printing.
  • It developed the world’s first non-steroidal oral contraceptive for women under the brand name of Chhaya and Saheli in National Family Planning Programme.
  • It pioneered India’s first five- seater aircraft.
  • It created a system called “Dhvani” which is used as modern indigenous marksmanship training system.

Cabinet nod for natural gas cargo-swap deal with Japan{IR}


In news

  • The Cabinet approved a cargo-swapping arrangement with Japan as part of a broader bilateral pact to create a gas exchange that could reduce India’s logistical costs for natural gas import.
  •  “As the world’s largest importer of gas, Japan has pacts for supply with Qatar. We have similar pacts with Australia.
  • As part of the gas exchange, we have a provision that will allow the swapping of these gas contracts which will save [on] transport costs. So, we can get gas from Qatar instead of Japan and they can source our quantum from Australia

Cabinet approves change of status for marine body IALA {IR}


The Union Cabinet  has given its approval for International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to change its status from Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to Inter-Governmental Organisation (IGO),

  • The IALA, having headquarters at St. Germainen Laye (France) was established in 1957 under French law. It is governed by a General Assembly having 83 National members, with its Council as the executive body.
  • The move will facilitate “to foster the safe, economic and efficient movement of vessels”.
  • It is governed by a General Assembly having 83 national members, with its Council as the executive body.
  • The IALA council consists of 24 National Members and India is one of the council members represented through the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL), Ministry of Shipping.
  • DGLL establishes and maintains Aids to Navigation in general waters along coast of India including A&N and Lakshadweep group of islands, as per Lighthouse Act 1927.

New material may help build ‘superplanes’{Sci. & Tech}


In news

Scientists have identified extremely lightweight material- boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs), that can withstand a high temperature and stress, a step towards developing hypersonic aircraft able to travel at five to 10 times the speed of sound.

Advantages

Image result for boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs)

Comparison between carbon and nitride tube

This discovery could lead to a drastic decrease in flight times.

Key Facts

  • Carbon nanotubes have been used in planes for their strength – they are stronger than steel – and their ability to conduct heat. However, BNNTs are the wave of the future when it comes to air travel.
  • While carbon nanotubes can stay stable at temperatures up to 400 degrees Celsius, BNNTs can withstand up to 900 degrees Celsius
  • BNNTs are also able to handle high amounts of stress and are extremely lightweight
  • Withstanding high temperatures is an important requirement for any material meant to build the world’s next super planes

Survey in Arabian Sea Region{Biodiversity}


Three marine species

  • the Pondicherry Shark
  • the Red Sea Torpedo
  • the Tentacled Butterfly Ray might have become possibly extinct in the oceanic waters of the Arabian Seas Region (ASR) since no evidence of its existence has surfaced in the last three decades.

The first ever assessment of the conservation status of Sharks, rays and Chimaeras in the Arabian Sea Region (ASR) was recently carried out.

The guitar fish found in coastal waters of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Ganges shark were classified as “Critically Endangered”.

The ASR covers the waters of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman, and the Gulf.

Note:- Have a look of locations of these sea in Atlas


Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has recently approved SANKALP and STRIVE schemes { H&R Development}


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved two new World Bank supported schemes of Rs. 6,655 crore – Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE).

Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) aimed at providing market relevant training to youths across the country.

Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) aimed at improving the quality and the market relevance of vocational training provided in ITIs.

Highlights of these projects

  • The project will also strengthen the apprenticeship programme through industry-cluster approach.
  • Both Schemes are under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and supported by World Bank loan assistance.
  • The two schemes will help in setting up national body for vocational education – Vocational Education and Training (VET).
  • VET shall regulate accreditation and certification in both long and short term thereby bringing about uniformity in vocational training.
  • SANKALP is a centrally sponsored scheme and STRIVE is a central sector scheme.

Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita Programme 


The Government has launched ‘Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita’ a sustainable initiative with Urban Local Bodies(ULBs) located on the banks of the river Ganga for achieving the objective of Clean Ganga

  • It aims at sensitizing the ULBs about the pollution arising primarily due to dumping of solid waste in the river and involving them in stoppage of such dumping.
  • The draft MoU is being prepared and the broad objective of the partnership is to involve the ULBs in the areas of solid waste management, installation and maintenance of clarifiers/screens in the nallas/drains to support primary treatment of waste water 500m along the basin.

New guideline for obesity {Health issue}


In news

  • India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in June this year.
  • Childhood obesity a “Global epidemic”.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidelines on how trained professionals can better identify youngsters in need of help.

Double-burden of malnutrition

  • In 2016, one half of all children overweight or obese lived in Asia and one quarter lived in Africa.
  • Paradoxically, overweight and obesity is found in populations where under-nutrition remains common and this is termed as ‘double-burden of malnutrition’.

 Main reasons for childhood obesity

  • Urbanisation
  • Increased income
  • Availability of fast foods
  • Low physical activity
  • Educational demands
  • Television viewing and gaming

What needs to be done?

Diagnose at early stage: Early prevention is the need of the hour to avoid an entire generation from falling prey to heart ailments, hypertension and diabetic complications.


To market new drugs in India, global trials must include Indians {Health issue}


In news

In a move to ensure efficacy of medicines sold in India, the drug regulator has made it mandatory for companies to include Indian patients in global clinical trials if they want to market in India a new drug developed outside the country.Related image

  • The International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) is unique in bringing together the regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical industry to discuss scientific and technical aspects of drug registration. Since its inception in 1990, ICH has gradually evolved, to respond to the increasingly global face of drug development. ICH’s mission is to achieve greater harmonisation worldwide to ensure that safe, effective, and high quality medicines are developed and registered in the most resource-efficient manner. On 23 October 2015, ICH announced organisational changes as it marks 25 years of successful harmonisation.

Mission of ICH

  • To make recommendations towards achieving greater harmonisation in the interpretation and application of technical guidelines and requirements for pharmaceutical product registration and the maintenance of such registrations;
  • To contribute to the protection of public health in the interest of patients from an international perspective;
  • To monitor and update harmonised technical requirements leading to a greater mutual acceptance of research and development data;
  • To facilitate the adoption of new or improved technical research and development approaches which update or replace current practices;
  • To encourage the implementation and integration of common standards through the dissemination of, the communication of information about and provision of training on, harmonised guidelines and their use
  • Founding regulatory authorities include those from Europe, Japan and the United States

New compound kills cancer without harming healthy cells {Health}


Scientists have discovered a new compound that directly drives cancer cells to commit suicide while sparing healthy cells.

  • It paves the way for faster and more efficient treatment of cancer cells.
  • The compound which causes the self-destruction of cancer cells is “BTSA1”.
  • It combats cancer by triggering “Apoptosis”, a process that rids the body of malfunctioning cells.

According to a written statement by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano: “Iran is now provisionally implementing the Additional Protocol to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, a powerful verification tool which gives our inspectors broader access to information and locations in Iran.


 

India to host the first BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise

{IR}


In news

The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency next week from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

When was this decided?

At the 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting held in Kathmandu, Nepal on February 7, 2017, it was decided that India would organize the first annual Disaster Management Exercise for the region.

This Exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries.

Objectives

The main focus of the BIMSTEC DMEx-2017 will be on testing the region’s preparedness and resilience towards effective activation of inter-Governmental interaction/dialogue/agreements for immediate deployment of regional resources for disaster response

Benefits

  • It will help create synergy and synchronize efforts to institutionalize regional cooperation among the member countries.
  • The exercise will help strengthen the effective utilization of the Search & Rescue Teams for Disaster Relief & Emergency Response, including Emergency Rapid Assessment Teams and Management of mass casualties especially in situations involving breakdown of infrastructure and communication.

The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people, constituting around 22% of the global population with a combined GDP of US $2.7 trillion economy.

Majority of the BIMSTEC countries are situated in the South Asian Region (SAR), prone to natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, avalanches and drought.

BIMSTEC

 The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.

This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.

It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.

 Objective

Building such an alliance was to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalization and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages.


Human papillomavirus (HPV)

  • HPVs are a group of more than 200 viruses that are known to cause warts or papilloma.
  • Some can cause cancer, particularly cervical cancer that can be easily spread through direct sexual contact.( transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact.

Properties

  • Usually harmless
  • no cure for the virus
  • In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer.

Sexually transmitted HPV types fall into two categoriesImage result for HPV

Low-risk HPVs: Low-risk HPVs types are 6 and 11. These do not cause cancer but can cause skin warts.

High-risk HPVs: The High-risk HPVs types 16 and 18 can cause cancer.

  • The HPV serotypes 16 and 18 account for nearly 77% of cervical cancer cases in India.
  • Most high-risk HPV infections occur without any symptoms and go away within 1 to 2 years and do not cause cancer.
  • Some HPV infections can persist for many years and can lead to cell changes. They may progress to cancer if left untreated

 

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