Please read the below Daily Current affairs and News analysis from Top Ranked IAS Coaching Center in Bangalore Vignan IAS Academy.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is converting old buses slated to be scrapped into “sanitiser buses” to disinfect people in public places.
- The buses, to be called ‘Sarige Sanjeevini’, would be operated in city limits for police personnel, health workers, pourakarmikas and others carrying out essential services during the lockdown.
- The buses are being modified at the central workshop of the KSRTC at a cost of ₹20,000. Modifications include installation of sprinklers. People need to enter from the front door and exit via the rear end to get disinfected.
Source : The Hindu
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that all set top boxes (STBs) in the country must be interoperable, meaning that consumers should be able to use the same STB across different Direct-to-Home (DTH) or cable TV providers
- It suggested that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting make the required amendments in licensing and registration conditions to make interoperability mandatory.
- The lack of interoperability affects improvement in service quality, TRAI observed.
- It recommended that a coordination committee be set up by the I&B Ministry to steer implementation of revised STB standards for both the DTH and the cable TV segments.
- The committee may maintain continuous oversight for setting up of the digital TV standards by BIS to provide for Digital Video Broadcasting Common Interface Plus (DVB CI+) 2.0 port based on ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) TS 103 605 standards.
Important Info :
- A Set-Top Box (STB) is a device needed to receive and watch digital television on a ordinary “analog” television.
- The set-top box receives the digital TV channels from a broadband source (cable, satellite, terrestrial or ADSL). The selected TV program is decoded and translated in a signal that can be understood by an ordinary “analog” television.
Source : The Hindu (Science & Technology)
A recent article published in the journal Science has shown that the drug candidate remdesivir, on trial now, exhibits promising activity against the COVID-19 causing virus and might work well in retarding virus replication
- Remdesivir (development code GS-5734) is an antiviral medication being studied during 2020 as a possible post-infection treatment for COVID-19 illness.
- Remdesivir is a nucleotide analog, specifically an adenosine analogue, which inserts into viral RNA chains, causing their premature termination.
- It was developed by Gilead Sciences as a treatment for Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus infections.
Source : The Hindu (Health)
As the Army moves in to take over the COVID-19 quarantine facility at Narela in Delhi, the procedure for calling the armed forces to help the civil administration is in the spotlight
- The regulations permit civil authorities to requisition the Army for controlling law and order, maintaining essential services, assisting during natural calamities such as earthquakes, and any other type of help that may be needed by the civil authorities.
- The procedure for requisitioning armed forces is governed under ‘Aid to Civil Authorities’ under the guidelines laid in Instructions on Aid to the Civil Authorities by the Armed Forces, 1970; Regulations for the Army; and Manual of Indian Military Law.
- Civil administration requests the Local Military Authority for assistance, for the maintenance of law and order, maintenance of essential services, disaster relief and other types of assistance.
- The current case of checking the spread of COVID-19 is different, as the medical aspect is predominant.
- Providing aid to civil authorities, as and when called upon to do so, is a secondary task for the armed forces. It cannot replace the primary role of ensuring external security and operational preparedness.
- There is no ceiling either of duration of deployment or on the number of armed forces personnel that can be deployed to aid civil authority.
Source : Indian Express (Defence & Security)
Seagull BioSolutions, a startup working on new biological technologies, is being funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), to undertake the development of Active Virosome (AV)-Vaccine and Immunodiagnostic kits for COVID-19 emergency
- Active Virosome Technology (AVT) developed by Seagull Bio is useful for the production of vaccines & immunotherapeutic agents.
- The AVT platform is useful for producing novel, non-hazardous & economical Active Virosome agents expressing desired antigens from the target pathogen. These will be used to develop a novel vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 infection and also immunodiagnostic ELISA kits for COVID-19.
Important Info :
Comparison with PCR kits:
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic kits which are currently available in India are rapid & enable detection of active COVID 19 infection but cannot identify asymptomatic infections or those people who were exposed to or infected with COVID-19 in the past.
- In contrast, Immunodiagnostic kits help in detection of antibodies to COVID – which can identify these infections also. Therefore, SBPL has initiated efforts to produce Immunodiagnostic kits for COVID-19.
Source : DD News (Health)
Ministry of Commerce has clarified that the contributions to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund or the State relief fund will not qualify as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR
- It has said in a circular that the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund’ or ‘State Relief Fund for COVID-19’ is not included in Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013, and therefore any contribution to such funds shall not qualify as admissible CSR expenditure,”
- Contribution made to State Disaster Management Authority to combat COVID-19 shall qualify as CSR expenditure under Schedule VII of Companies Act.
- Opposition parties slammed the circular as discriminatory and sought an immediate amendment to Schedule VII of the Companies Act to permit the States to access these funds which could save millions of lives.
Source : The Hindu (Health)
Union HRD Minister has launched a web-portal YUKTI (Young India Combating COVID with Knowledge, Technology and Innovation) in New Delhi
- It’s a unique portal and dashboard to monitor the initiatives of HRD Ministry – in academics, research and social initiatives – taken in the wake of COVID-19.
- This portal will help in critical issues related to student promotion policies, placements related challenges and physical and mental well-being of students in these challenging times.
- The portal will also allow various institutions to share their strategies for various challenges because of coronavirus.
- It will also establish a two-way communication channel between the Ministry of HRD and the institutions so that the Ministry can provide the necessary support system to the institutions.
Source : PIB (Education)
A scientist duo from city-based Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), has studied primordial black holes that were born as a result of a tiny bump in the potential energy levels of the universe, at a time when it was expanding rapidly
- Primordial Black Holes (PBH) were formed during the Hot Big Bang phase.
- It is believed that they are formed as a result of collapsing radiations as opposed to the collapse of massive stars, which is the case of any other black holes.
- The recent study has confirmed that this marginal rise in potential energy resulted in birth of several PBHs and also emitted very powerful gravitational waves.
- PBH can be massively large as 3000kms or be extremely tiny like nucleus of an atom.