2020 – Global Report on Food Crises
According to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC), up to 135 million people were living in food crises in 2019 – up from 113 million a year earlier.
- At 135 million, the number of people in Crisis or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or above) in 2019 was the highest in the four years of the GRFC’s existence.
- An estimated 75 million stunted children were living in the 55 food-crisis countries analysed.
- Conflict/insecurity was still the main driver of food crises in 2019, but weather extremes and economic shocks became increasingly significant.
- Over half of the 77 million acutely foodinsecure people in countries where conflict was identified as the primary driver were in the Middle East and Asia.
- Africa had the largest numbers of acutely food-insecure people in need of assistance in countries badly affected by weather events, particularly in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa, followed by Central America and Pakistan.
Important Info :
- The Global Report of food crises is produced each year by the Global Network Against Food Crises, which is made up of international humanitarian and development partners.
Source : GraphicNews ( Social Issues )
DRDO develops UV disinfection tower for sanitising coronavirus-prone areas
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection tower for rapid and chemical-free disinfection of high infection-prone areas.
- The equipment named UV Blaster is “useful for high-tech surfaces like electronic equipment, computers and other gadgets in laboratories and offices that are not suitable for disinfection with chemical methods.
- The product is also effective for areas with a large flow of people such as airports, shopping malls, metros, hotels, factories and offices.
- It was designed and developed by Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC) based in Delhi with the help of New Age Instruments and Materials Private Limited, Gurugram.
- For a room of about 12 ft x12 ft dimension, the disinfection time is about 10 minutes.
Source : Times of India ( Science & Technology )
ASTEROID 1998 OR2
On 29 April 2020, the asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 passed at a distance of 0.042 AU (6.3 million km) from Earth.
- (52768) 1998 OR2 (provisional designation 1998 OR2) is an asteroid on an eccentric orbit with a diameter of 2 kilometers.
- It is a member of the dynamical Amor group of near-Earth asteroids.
- It was discovered in 1998, by astronomers of the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program at the Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii.
- It is one of the brightest and therefore largest potentially hazardous asteroids known to exist.
Source : News18 ( Science & Technology )
How remdesivir tricks coronavirus
Researchers have reported that they have determined the 3D structure of coronavirus “copy machine”. This makes it possible to investigate how drugs such as remdesivir work.
- Once the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 invades a human cell, the crucial next stage is replication, when it creates copies after copies of itself. For this, the virus uses its “copy machine”, which is an enzyme with this function.
- The first stage of infection is the virus entering the human cell. On the surface of the virus is a spike-shaped protein, the so-called “corona”, which binds itself to a human cell enzyme, ACE2.
- The virus then acidifies compartments on the cell surface, enters, and then begins to replicate using the body’s own mechanism.
- SARS-CoV2 is made of a single strand of RNA, which is what is copied and recopied. Enzymes that enable the creation of RNA (or DNA) are called polymerases; in the case of SARS-CoV2, the polymerase is called RdRp, also named nsp12.
- It is the polymerase whose structure researchers have now described.
Source : Indian Express ( Health )
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science &Technology, Govt. of India, studied rivers in Ladakh Himalaya, bringing out 35 thousand-year history of river erosion and identified hotspots of erosion and wide valleys that act a buffer zones.
- The Ladakh Himalaya forms a high altitude desert between Greater Himalayan ranges and Karakoram Ranges. The Indus and its tributaries are major rivers flowing through the terrain.
- In the study published, Zanskar catchment was explored by WIHG team to understand the landform evolution in transitional climatic zone.
- The Zanskar River is a north-flowing tributary of the Indus.
- It is one of the largest tributaries of the upper Indus catchment, draining orthogonally through highly deformed Zanskar ranges.
- Two prominent tributaries of Zanskar River are the Doda and TsrapLingti Chu, which confluence at Padam village in the upper valley to form the Zanskar River.
Source : DD News ( Geography )
The Unicode Consortium has accepted the proposal to add two Tamil characters to the Telugu list for transcribing religious Tamil texts. The proposal was submitted so that Tamil texts can be transcribed into Telugu without worrying about equivalents.
- The Unicode Consortium (Unicode Inc.) is a non-profit organization based in California, United States. It was established in 1991.
- Its primary purpose is to maintain and publish the Unicode Standard which was developed with the intention of replacing existing character encoding schemes which are limited in size and scope, and are incompatible with multilingual environments.
- The Unicode Standard assigns code to characters from different languages in the world so that they can be understood and displayed across software platforms.
- Unicode’s success at unifying character sets has led to its widespread adoption in the internationalization and localization of software.
Source : The Hindu ( Science & Technology )
NLC INDIA LIMITED
NLC India Limited has for the first time, commenced production of Coal. The coal produced from Talabira II and III Mines in the state of Odisha, which was allotted to NLCIL in 2016 with a capacity of 20 Million Tonne per annum will be used to meet its requirement of its existing and future coal fired power plants.
- NLC India Limited (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited) (NLC) is a ‘Navratna’ Public Enterprise under the Ministry of Coal.
- It works in the fossil fuel mining sector in India and thermal power generation. It annually produces about 30 million tonne lignite from opencast mines at Neyveli in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India and at Barsingsar in Bikaner district of Rajasthan state.
- It was incorporated in 1956 and is headquartered in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu.
Source : PIB ( Economy )
BICENTENARY OF THE BIRTH OF FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE
Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was born 200 years ago.
- Florence (1820 – 1910) was born to a wealthy English family in Florence, Italy, and named after the city.
- She became famous as a result of her innovations in nursing care at Scutari hospital in modern-day Istanbul, where she treated British soldiers wounded in the Crimean War of 1854, in which British, French and Ottoman forces fought the Russian Empire.
- Every night she would make rounds through the camps, checking on each soldier, a practice that saw her nicknamed the “Lady with the Lamp”.
- She used statistics as a way of proving the effectiveness of different interventions. She produced her famous “rose” diagrams, which demonstrated the high proportion of deaths caused by disease as opposed to battle wounds.
- As a result of this work, she became the first woman admitted to the London Statistical Society, in 1858.
Important Info :
- International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12 to commemorate her birthday.
- In India, on the occasion of International Nurses Day, the National Florence Nightingale Awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/UTs. Nurses working in Government, Voluntary Organizations, Mission institutions. Private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government.
Source : GraphicNews ( Health )
INDIA’S PERMANENT MISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS
India has appointed diplomat T S Tirumurti, currently serving as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, as its Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
- The Permanent Mission is the diplomatic mission that every member state deputes to the United Nations, and is headed by a Permanent Representative, who is also referred to as the “UN ambassador”.
- UN Permanent Representatives are assigned to the UN headquarters in New York City, and can also be appointed to other UN offices in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi.
- According to Article 1 (7) of the Vienna Convention on the Representation of States in their Relations with International Organizations of a Universal Character, a “Permanent Mission” is a: “mission of permanent character, representing the State, sent by a State member of an international organization to the Organization”.
Important Info :
- India was among the select members of the United Nations that signed the United Nations Declaration at Washington on January 1, 1942. India also participated in the historic UN Conference of International Organization at San Francisco from April 25 to June 26, 1945.
Source : Indian Express ( International )
K. S. NISSAR AHMED
Well-known Kannada poet K.S. Nisar Ahmed passed away. He was 84.
- S. Nissar Ahmed (1936 – 2020), was an Indian poet and writer in the Kannada language.
- He was known as Nithyotsava Kavi after his iconic poem Nityotsava, which details the grandeur of Karnataka. The poem became the state’s unofficial anthem after it was picked up singers of Sugama Sangeeta, Karnataka’s very own school of light music.
- A prominent poet of the Navya (modernist) school of literature, he was honoured with Padma Shri award in 2008.
Source : Times of India ( Culture )