May 5th Current Affairs
- May 5, 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
- Ministry of Ayush responds to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about “Ayush-64”.
- The polyherbal drug AYUSH 64 has been found to be useful in treating mild to moderate cases of Covid 19 in clinical trials.
What is Ayush-64
- Ayush-64 is an Ayurvedic formulation, developed by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), the apex body for research in Ayurveda under the Ministry of Ayush.
- Originally developed in 1980 for the management of Malaria, this drug has now been repurposed for Covid 19 as its ingredients showed notable antiviral, immune-modulator and antipyretic properties.
- The in-silico study done on Ayush 64 showed that 35 out of 36 of its Phyto-constituents have high binding affinity against COVID 19 virus.
- The formulation has also shown very promising results in Influenza like illnesses.
- With scientific evidence generated from 06 clinical studies across India, Ayush 64 has been identified as a potential adjunct to standard care in the management of asymptomatic, mild and moderate COVID 19 to improve the clinical recovery and quality of life.
- The dose for asymptomatic COVID 19 case is 2 tablets of 500 mg twice daily one hour after meals with warm water for 14 days.
- The dose for mild to moderate cases is 2 tablets of 500 mg thrice daily one hour after meals with warm water for 14 days.
Guidelines should follow while taking Ayush-64
- There are no special precautions to be followed while using Ayush-64.
- However, one must follow all the COVID-19 related guidelines given by Ministry of Ayush and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
2. 5G Technology and Spectrum Trials
- Telecom Department gives go-ahead for 5G Technology and Spectrum Trials
- Telecom Service Providers to start 5G trials in different locations across India
- 5G trials to cover rural, semi-urban and urban areas
- Go-ahead includes trials featuring indigenous 5G technology
- The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd. and MTNL.
- These TSPs have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT.
- In addition, Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd. will also be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology.
- The permissions have been given by DoT as per the priorities and technology partners identified by TSPs themselves.
- The experimental spectrum is being given in various bands which include the mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), millimeter wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz) and in Sub-Gigahertz band (700 GHz). TSPs will also be permitted to use their existing spectrum owned by them (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2500 MHz) for conduct of 5G trials.
- The duration of the trials, at present, is for a period of 6 months.
- This includes a time period of 2 months for procurement and setting up of the equipment.
- The TSPs are encouraged to conduct trials using 5Gi technology in addition to the already known 5G Technology.
- It will be recalled that International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has also approved the 5Gi technology, which was advocated by India, as it facilitates much larger reach of the 5G towers and Radio networks.
- The 5Gi technology has been developed by IIT Madras, Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT) and IIT Hyderabad.
OBJECTIVES OF 5G trials.
- Testing 5G spectrum propagation characteristics especially in the Indian context;
- Model tuning and evaluation of chosen equipment and vendors;
- Testing of indigenous technology;
- Testing of applications (such as telemedicine, tele-education, augmented/ virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring, etc.); and
- To test 5G phones and devices”.
- 5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates (expected to be 10 times that of 4G), up to three times greater spectrum efficiency, and ultra low latency to enable Industry 4.0.
- Applications are across a wide range of sectors such as agriculture, education, health, transport, traffic management, smart cities, smart homes, and multiple applications of IOT (Internet of Things).
3. Moorhen Yoga Mat.( Biodegradable yoga mat)
- A biodegradable and compostable yoga mat developed from water hyacinth by six young girls from the fishing community in Assam could turn this water plant from a nuisance to wealth.
- The innovation by the girls, whose families are directly dependent on the wetland for survival, could contribute significantly towards the environmental conservation and sustainability of Deepor Beel and also ensure local livelihood.
- The mat called ‘Moorhen Yoga Mat’ will soon be introduced to the world market as a unique product.
- The intervention was triggered through an initiative by North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous body under Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India to involve the entire women community associated with a collective called ‘Simang’ meaning dream, led by the 6 girls to create wealth from water hyacinth plants.
- The ‘Moorhen Yoga mat’ named after Kam Sorai (Purple moorhen, a resident bird of Deepor Beel Wildlife sanctuary), comes in a cotton canvas cloth bag where no zip or metal closures are used.
- The bag has adjustable strap and closures effectively designed to be in sync with biodegradability.
- Deepor Beel is located to the south-west of Guwahati city, in Kamrup district of Assam, India.
- It is a permanent freshwater lake, in a former channel of the Brahmaputra River, to the south of the main river.
- It is a wetland under the Ramsar Convention which has listed since November 2002, for undertaking conservation measures on the basis of its biological and environmental importance.
- Considered as one of the largest beels in the Brahmaputra valley of Lower Assam, it is categorised as a representative of the wetland type under the Burma monsoon forest biogeographic region.
- It is also an important bird sanctuary habituating many migrant species.
- Freshwater fish is a vital protein and source of income for these communities; the health of these people is stated to be directly dependent on the health of this wetland ecosystem.
4. Used Cooking Oil-based Biodiesel
Petroleum Minister flags off 1st supply of Used Cooking Oil-based Biodiesel from Indian Oil’s Tikrikalan Terminal.
Shri Pradhan describes it as a landmark in India’s pursuance of Biofuels which will have a positive impact on the environment.
- Diesel, India’s most used fuel, is made from crude oil, for which the nation is 85 per cent dependent on imports.
- Imports can be reduced if a portion of diesel extracted from fossil oil is supplemented by an equally combustible diesel.
- Bio-diesel that can be produced from vegetable oil, animal fat, tallow and waste cooking oil.
Expressions of Interest
- To create an eco-system for collection and conversion of UCO into Biodiesel and developing entrepreneurship opportunities, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, along with Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, had initiated Expressions of Interest for “Procurement of Bio-diesel produced from Used Cooking Oil” on the occasion of World Biofuel Day on 10th August 2019.
- Such “Expressions of Interest” are being periodically released by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
- In the first phase, 11 EoIs were floated between 10.08.2019 to 09.11.2020 for 200 locations. Publication of EoIs has been extended for one more year up to 31.12.2021, for 300 locations across the country.
- Under this initiative, OMCs offer periodically incremental price guarantees for five years and extend off-take guarantees for ten years to prospective entrepreneurs.
- So far, IndianOil has also issued 23 LOIs for Biodiesel plants with a total capacity of 22.95 Cr Litres (557.57 TPD). Under this initiative, IndianOil has received 51KL of UCO-Biodiesel at its Tikrikalan terminal in Delhi as of 31.3.2021.
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, similar to conventional or ‘fossil’ diesel.
It can be produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, tallow and waste cooking oil.
A significant advantage of Biodiesel is its carbon-neutrality, i.e. the oilseed absorbs the same amount of CO2 as is released when the fuel is combusted in a vehicle. Also, Biodiesel is rapidly biodegradable and completely non-toxic.
5. New framework for implementation of SVAMITVA Scheme
Shri Narendra Singh Tomar releases the new framework for implementation of SVAMITVA Scheme
Property cards distributed in more than 7400 villages; more than 7,00,000 people have benefited from the Scheme
- Union Minister for Panchayati Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar released the new framework for implementation of the SVAMITVA Scheme and Coffee Table Book (CTB) to mark the nationwide roll-out of the SVAMITVA Scheme.
- The SVAMITVA Framework developed by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj provides a detailed roadmap and guidelines for the various States in terms of the Scheme objectives, coverage, various components involved, year-wise funding pattern, survey approach and methodology, stakeholders involved and their roles and responsibility, monitoring and evaluation, and deliverables.
- Coffee Table Book on SVAMITVA Scheme is an effort to condense the vast efforts of various stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Scheme, learnings and best practices that have emerged during the course, glimpses of various challenges and success stories and provide a way forward.
- SVAMITVA, a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj was nationally launched by the Prime Minister on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2021 after successful completion of the pilot phase of the Scheme in 9 States.
- SVAMITVA Scheme aims to provide property rights to the residents of rural inhabited areas in India by using Drone survey and CORS Networks which provides mapping accuracy of 5 cms.
- The Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of the SVAMITVA scheme.
- In the States, the Revenue Department/Land Records Department will be the Nodal Department and shall carry out the scheme with the support of State Panchayati Raj Departments.
6. SUTRA model
- Scientists see flaws in govt-backed model’s approach to forecast pandemic.
- With close to 4,00,000 cases being added every day, questions are being raised by many scientists on whether a government-backed model, called SUTRA, to forecast the rise and ebb of the COVID-19 pandemic, may have had an outsized role in creating the perception that a catastrophic second wave was unlikely in India.
SUTRA (Susceptible, Undetected, Tested (positive), and Removed Approach) first came into public attention when one of its expert members announced in October that India was “past its peak”.
What is the issue?
- The SUTRA model predicted in March 2021, that the second wave of COVID-19 is to peak in the third week of April. Also, it is likely to add one lakh cases per day. There are reports claiming that attention was not paid to this. According to Ministry of Science and Technology, these predictions were incorrect. The scientists who developed the model have come forward to explain that these claims are incorrect for the following reasons:
- The model can predict the future only if the virus dynamics and its transmissibility do not change. In case of COVID-19, the nature of the virus has been changing continuously.
- Similarly, the model lags in several other things a well.
What are the flaws in the SUTRA Model?
- The model was incapable to predict the future under different scenarios. However, its predictions till February 2021 fitted in perfectly.
- Unlike other models that extrapolated (to predict by projecting the past experiences) cases based on behaviour of the virus, existing number of cases, and the manner of spread, SUTRA chose “Data Centric Approach”.
- The calibrations made were not correct. The calibrations of the model relied on the Serosurvey conducted by ICMR in May 2021. According to the survey, 0.73% of the Indian population were infected with Corona Virus, which is not correct.
- The equation that gave out the estimates of number of future infections and when a peak may occur needed constants. These constants relied on number of infections being reported at various intervals. The equations couldn’t say when the constants changed. Bottom line, the model failed to report rapid acceleration of cases in advance.
- The SUTRA Model was problematic as it relied on too many parameters. Too many parameters put the model into the danger of “overfitting”.
- It did not include the fact that some people were the bigger transmitters of the virus such as barbers or receptionists.