The Coral Triangle Day 2020 was observed on June 9
- The Coral Triangle Day was established on June 9, to celebrate and raise awareness of the ocean conservation and protection, especially on the Coral Triangle.
- The Coral Triangle day was observed the first time on June 9, 2012, in conjunction with the World Oceans Day on June 8.
- The day is observed by the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF), also shortly known as the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI). It is a multilateral partnership of six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste).
Important Info :
- Coral Triangle, the world’s epicentre of marine diversity, is a vast ocean expense that geographically spreads across 6 countries in Asia and the Pacific: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste (the “CT6” countries).
- It is considered as one of the 3 mega ecological complexes on Earth, together with Congo Basin and the Amazon Rainforest. The region contains 76% of all known coral species, 37% of all known coral reef fish species and 53% of the world’s coral reefs.
Source : WWF (Environment)
Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT), a Deemed University, Pune has developed a Nano-technology based disinfectant spray to combat COVID-19 by disinfecting all types of surfaces
- It has been named “ANANYA”. This can be used by anyone, from a common man to a healthcare worker, for individual as well as large scale use.
- This spray can be used on masks, PPEs, hospital linens, as well as other likely contaminated surfaces such as medical instruments, elevator buttons, door knobs, corridors and rooms.
- This Nano-technology assisted formulation will not only stop the novel coronavirus from entering human body, but it will also kill the virus when the virus comes in contact with this formulation layer on masks and PPEs.
- This is a water based spray and will be effective for more than 24 hours after spray.
Source : All India Radio (Healthcare)
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) launched its flagship programme Turant Customs at Bengaluru and Chennai
- Importers will now get their goods cleared from Customs after a faceless assessment is done remotely by the Customs officers located outside the port of import.
- Now, the goods imported at Chennai may be assessed by the Customs officers located at Bengaluru and vice versa, as assigned by the Customs’ automated system.
- The start of Turant Customs at Bengaluru and Chennai will be the first phase of the All India roll out which would get completed by 31st December this year.
- The first phase will cover imports of Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics machineries at the ports, airports and ICDs of Bengaluru and Chennai.
- Turant Customs will benefit the importers by eliminating routine interface with the Customs officers and providing uniformity in assessment across the country.
Source : All India Radio (Economy)
Delhi Disaster Management Authority Anil Baijal has overruled Arvind Kejriwal government’s order that only Delhi residents will be admitted to government hospitals in the city for COVID-19 treatment
- Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) was constituted in 2008 under the Chairpersonship of Lt. Governor of Delhi for an effective and practicable framework for disaster management in Delhi.
- An Apex Committee headed by the Lt. Governor of Delhi will govern the Disaster Management Authority.
- The Authority will function through a secretariat (The DDMA Secretariat) which will be called the Disaster Management Center.
- The Divisional Commissioner of Delhi as the head of the nodal department for disaster management in Delhi will be the Convenor of the DDMA Secretariat.
Important Info :
- Baijal has directed authorities to ensure that treatment is not denied to any patient on the ground of not being a resident of the national capital.
- Earlier, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced that all government and private hospitals in the city will only treat Delhi residents till the rising COVID-19 cases are contained.
Source : All India Radio (Disaster Management)
A look at 8 COVID therapies being used in hospitals in Mumbai and elsewhere
List of 8 therapies being used in Indian hospitals for fighting COVID:
- Remdesivir: Remdesivir, an antiviral drug first developed for treating Ebola in 2014, is one of the possible Covid-19 treatments being investigated in the WHO’s Solidarity Trial. It inhibits viral replication in the body.
- Favipiravir: Favipiravir is an antiviral given to inhibit viral replication. It is used as an anti-influenza drug.
- Tocilizumab: This is an immunosuppressant commonly used to treat for rheumatoid arthritis.
- Itolizumab: This drug is commonly used for the skin disorder psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune disorders.
- Hydroxychloroquine: This antimalarial drug is a subject of debate over its efficacy against Covid. India is the largest producer of this drug.
- Doxycycline + ivermectin: Doxycycline is an antibiotic used to fight infection in the urinary tract, eye, or respiratory tract. Ivermectin is an anti-parasite drug for treatment of scabies, head lice, and filariasis. The combination is used to treat Covid patients with acute symptoms.
- Ritonavir + lopinavir: These antivirals are commonly used to treat HIV patients.
- Plasma therapy: This is meant for critical patients with low oxygen saturation levels, or those suffering a cytokine storm.
Source : Indian Express (HealthCare)
The Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance to amend The Essential Commodities Act, 1955, to deregulate commodities such as cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes. The ordinance has introduced a new subsection (1A) in Section 3 of the Act
About the Act:
- There is no specific ‘definition of essential commodities’ in The EC Act. Section 2(A) of the act states that an “essential commodity” means a commodity specified in the “Schedule” of this Act.
- The Act gives powers to the central government to add or remove a commodity in the “Schedule.” The Centre, if it is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in public interest, can notify an item as essential, in consultation with state governments.
- By declaring a commodity as essential, the government can control the production, supply, and distribution of that commodity, and impose a stock limit.
Source : Indian Express (Economy)
U.K.-based archaeologists have discovered two Roman roads and 30 prehistoric or Roman large embanked settlement enclosures in Tamar Valley, England by analysing images derived from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data
- Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth.
- These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics.
- A lidar instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver.
- Airplanes and helicopters are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring lidar data over broad areas.
- Two types of lidar are topographic and bathymetric. Topographic lidar typically uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric lidar uses water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.
- Lidar systems allow scientists and mapping professionals to examine both natural and manmade environments with accuracy, precision, and flexibility.
Important Info :
- The Tamar is a river in England. The surrounding area is a World Heritage Site due to its historic mining activities.
Source : The Hindu (Science & Technology)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed a MoU with the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, for cooperation in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Astrophysics
- ARIES is a leading research institute which specializes in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences.
- Status: It is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
- Location: It is situated at Manora Peak, in Nainital, Uttarakhand.
- Established in: 1954.
Source : Economic Times (Science & Technology)
A group of scientists working at the Pune-based National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) have recently discovered tiny flashes of radio light emanating from all over the sun, which they say could help in explaining the long-pending coronal heating problem
- The solar corona, the outer layer of the Sun’s atmosphere, is composed of extreme high temperature gas, known as plasma, with temperatures reaching millions of degrees Celsius.
- As the outer layer of the Sun, the part farthest from the core where the nuclear reactions powering the Sun occur, it would logically be expected to be the coolest part of the Sun. But in fact, it is 200 times hotter than the photosphere, the layer beneath it.
- This contradiction, dubbed “the coronal heating problem” has puzzled astrophysicists ever since the temperature of the corona was first measured over 70 years ago.
Source : The Hindu (Science & Technology)
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in various sectors
Major areas of mutual interest include:
- Supporting world class start-ups through CSIR Incubators under Atal Innovation mission initiatives and working together on new models of innovation including setting up of CSIR Innovation Parks.
- Stimulating innovation and research in the MSME industry by CSIR in collaboration with ARISE initiative of AIM. This initiative works to stimulate innovation and research in the MSME industry.
- Creating problem solving mind-set across schools in India through close cooperation between Atal Tinkering Labs and CSIRs ´JIGYASA’ a Student-Scientist connect program where in >3 lakhs students across the country have been exposed to science and technology.
Source : PIB (Science & Technology)
The Indian Air Force has designed, developed and manufactured an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT)
- This pod will be utilised for evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases including COVID-19 from high altitude area, isolated and remote places.
- The system has been developed as a lightweight isolation system made from aviation certified material. The isolation system caters for suitable number of air exchanges, integration of medical monitoring instruments, and ventilation to an intubated patient.
- The ARPIT utilises High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) H-13 class filters and supports invasive ventilation using Transport Ventilator.
Source : All India Radio (Health )
Union Minister of Personnel & Public Grievances inaugurated the 18th Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh
- Setting up of CAT Bench of Jammu to deal exclusively with service matters of government employees would reduce the burden of various Courts.
- Earlier, in a notification issued under section 5(7) of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, the Central Government has specified Jammu and Srinagar as the places at which the benches of the CAT shall ordinarily sit for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh.
Important Info :
- Constitutional backing: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) had been established under Article 323 – A of the Constitution.
- Mandate: To adjudicate disputes and complaints with respect to recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to public services and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union or other authorities under the control of the Government.
- Under Section 17 of the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985, the Tribunal has been conferred with the power to exercise the same jurisdiction and authority in respect of contempt of itself as a High Court.
- The Tribunal is guided by the principles of natural justice in deciding cases and is not bound by the procedure, prescribed by the Civil Procedure Code.
- Salaries and Allowances and Conditions of Service of the officers and other employees of the Tribunal are specified by the Central Government.
Source : PIB (Polity & Governance)
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued an order dated 5th June 2020 mandating Distinct colour band for number plate sticker for BS-6 four-wheel vehicles
- The order mandates a strip of green colour of 1 cm width on top of the existing sticker carrying details of registration for BS-VI vehicles of any fuel type i.e. for petrol or CNG which have a light blue colour sticker and a diesel vehicle which is of orange colour. These stickers will now have a green strip of 1 cm on top for BS VI, as mandated.
- The BS-VI emission standards, which have been mandated w.e.f. 1st April, 2020, provide for stricter and cleaner emission norms and are at par with the emission standards being followed across the world.
- Such distinct identification of vehicles for such emissions standard as is also being followed in other countries.
Source : PIB (Environment)