April 28th Current Affairs
- April 28, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Culture Current Affairs Daily News Defense & Security Disaster Management Economy Education Environment & Ecology Ethics Geography Governance Health History International Relation Persons in News Polity Science & Technology Social Issues Sports Uncategorized UPSC Notification Videos
1. Supply Chain Resilience initiative.
The Trade Ministers of India,Japan and Australia formally launched the Supply Chain Resilience initiative in a Trilateral Ministerial Meeting held virtually.
- Based on the consultations since September last year, the ministers noted the importance of risk management and continuity plans in order to avoid supply chain disruptions.
- Aim: To create a virtuous cycle of enhancing supply chain resilience with a view to eventually attaining strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth in the region.
- Possible policy measures may include:
- supporting the enhanced utilization of digital technology; and
- supporting trade and investment diversification.
What does supply chain resilience mean?
- In the context of international trade, supply chain resilience is an approach that helps a country to ensure that it has diversified its supply risk across a clutch of supplying nations instead of being dependent on just one or a few.
- Unanticipated events whether natural, such as volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, earthquakes or even a pandemic; or manmade, such as an armed conflict in a region that disrupt supplies from a particular country or even intentional halts to trade, could adversely impact economic activity in the destination country.
Proposal of Supply Chain Resilience Initiative:
- With Covid-19 and trade tensions between China and the United States are threatening supply chains, Japan has mooted the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) as a trilateral approach to trade, with India and Australia as the key-partners.
- The initiative aims to reduce the dependency on a single nation (at present China).
- SCRI is a direct response to individual companies and economies concerned about Chinese political behaviour and the disruption that could lead to the supply chain.
- The initiative, first proposed by Japan with India and Australia as partners, potentially see other Asian and Pacific Rim nations later.
A Solar Dryer and Pyrolysis pilot plant at Chennai will soon offer an innovative approach for smart cities to transform urban organic waste into biochar and energy.
- The foundation stone of the Integrated Solar Dryer and Pyrolysis pilot was laid by Dr. K J Sreeram, Director, CSIR- Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai on the occasion of 74th foundation day of CLRI.
- The pilot is part of the Indo-German project ‘Pyrasol’ launched to transform urban organic waste into biochar and energy in smart cities.
- It was awarded to CSIR-CLRI by the Indo-German Science & Technology Centre.
- The project will ultimately lead to technology development for the joint processing of Fibrous Organic Waste (FOW) and Sewage Sludge (SS) of Indian smart cities into hygienic and highly valuable biochar associated with energy recovery, carbon sequestration and environmental improvement.
Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC)
- Established by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India & Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Govt. of Germany.
- OBJECTIVE: To facilitate Indo-German R&D networking with emphasis on industry participation, applied research and technology development.
- IGSTC through its flagship program ‘2+2 Projects’, catalyses innovation centric R&D projects by synergising the strength of research and academic institutions and public/private industries from India and Germany.
- Under this program, the project titled ‘Pyrasol: Smart Cities integrated energy supply, carbon sequestration and urban organic waste treatment through combined solar sludge drying and pyrolysis’ was awarded by IGSTC to CSIR-CLRI, Chennai; Ramky Enviro Engineers, Chennai; Leibniz Universität, Hannover and BiomaconGmbH, Rehburg.
- The project focuses on managing and organising collection, treatment, and disposal systems of urban wastes in Indian Smart Cities as well as in other urban centres with an integrated and interactive approach.
3. Community service centre to make data from India’s first solar space mission accessible for analysis.
A community service centre has been set up to bring all data on board India’s first dedicated solar space mission to a single web-based interface enabling the users to quickly look at the data and identify the interesting science cases.
- The service centre called Aditya-L1 Support Cell (AL1SC), a joint effort of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India will be used by the guest observers in analyzing science data and preparing science observing proposals.
- AL1SC set up at the transit campus of ARIES at Haldwani, Uttarakhand, will jointly work with ISRO to maximize utilization of science data from Aditya-L1 and facilitate India’s first dedicated solar space mission- Aditya-L1.
- The centre will act as conduit between the users (student and faculty members from research Institutes/ Universities/ Colleges etc.) and payload teams of Aditya-L1 and solar astronomy research community at large.
- It is slated to develop specific tools to assist guest observers/researchers to prepare observing proposals for Aditya-L1 observations and will assist ISRO with the design and development of the required analysis software for handling scientific data.
- Combining data from other observatories will be helpful in building a solar features event knowledgebase which will be the compendium of different solar features seen on the surface of the Sun and in the heliosphere.
- This knowledge base will be immensely useful for the scientific community in connecting the features in heliosphere to the surface of the Sun.
The cycle threshold value emerges in RT-PCR tests for the coronavirus, and determines whether a person is positive for Covid-19 or not.
What is Ct value?
- In a RT-PCR test, the RNA extracted from the swab is converted into DNA. The DNA is then amplified. The amplification is done to create multiple copies of the genetic material. This is done to improve the ability of the test to detect the virus.
- The amplification takes place in cycles. At first cycle, one copy of the DNA becomes two. In the second cycle two copies become four and so on.
- The Ct value is the number of cycles after which the virus was detected.
- If the number of cycles is low, then the viral load is high. Because, the virus was detected in very few cycles.
Global Ct value
Globally, the accepted Ct value is between 35 and 40.
Right Ct value for a person to test COVID-19 positive.
- The ICMR recently announced that the right Ct value for a person to become COVID-19 positive is 35.
- If the Ct value of a person is less than 35, he is COVID-19 positive and if it is greater than 35 then he is COVID1-19 negative.
5. Oxygen Crisis: Covid-19
The Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) crisis during the second wave of Covid surge has been precipitated by a shortage of tankers and the daunting logistics of transportation from distant locations.
Liquid Medical Oxygen:
- It is high purity oxygen suitable for use in the human body. So, it is used for medical treatments.
- This oxygen provides a basis for virtually all modern anaesthetic techniques, restores tissue oxygen tension by increasing the oxygen availability, aids cardiovascular stability, etc.
- The World Health Organisation includes this on their List of Essential Medicines.
- According to the Drug Prices Control Order, 2013, LMO is placed under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).
LMO Production in India:
- India has a daily production capacity of at least 7,100 Metric Tonnes (MT) of oxygen, including for industrial use.
- Due to the crisis, the production has been increased to 8,922 MT. And approximately daily sale is 7,017 MT.
- The domestic production is expected to cross 9,250 MT per day by the end of April 2021.
- Therefore, India appears to be producing sufficient oxygen to meet the current need.
Reasons for the Crisis:
- Distance of Production Plants,
- Limited Tankers,
- Companies not Buying Cryogenic Tankers,
- Cryogenic Tankers: These are tankers which store medical oxygen at -180 degrees C, have double-skin vacuum-insulated containers, including an inner vessel made of stainless steel.
- Leakage and Irrational Use,
- Black marketing of oxygen cylinders is another issue.
- Oxygen Express,
- Disaster Management Act 2005,
- Restarting Plants,
- Use of Air Force,
- Oxygen Enrichment Unit (OEU),
- It is developed by scientists of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), and will help reduce the requirement of ventilators and oxygen cylinders in homecare, villages and remote places.
- Oxygen enrichment units have special significance in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Patient recovery can be faster with supplemental oxygen in early stages.