CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC| The Hindu | PRELIMS 2020 | 31st March 2020

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CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC (THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS2020.

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.– Oprah Winfrey

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Scitech Airon

      HEADLINES:

Technology by Pune based Startup incubatee of Scitech Park to disinfect Maharashtra hospitals in Covid 19 fight

      WHY IN NEWS:

It can clean up the air and disinfect areas exposed to the infection through Covid 19 positive cases and suspects.

MINISTRY?Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Start up:Innovation:Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through the concept of atmospheric detergents. It is very important for Prelims !

For MAINS well this could ensure wellbeing of the staff, doctors, and nurses working in the quarantine facilities by enhancing their disease resistance power and ability to fight the virus.How far rigorous testing has been done with this machine ? Do you think it is a robust and durable machine ?

      ISSUE: 

The negative ion generator titled Scitech Airon helps to control the virus, bacteria, and fungal infections in a closed environment
Description: Scitech Airon

 

A technology has been developed by an incubatee company of Scitech Park, Pune which offers an effective solution for India’s fight against Covid 19 by reducing the viral load of infected areas within a room significantly within an hour.

The technology has been developed under the NIDHI PRAYAS program initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

NATIONAL INITIATIVE FOR DEVELOPING AND HARNESSING INNOVATIONS (NIDHI)

National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) is an umbrella programme conceived and developed by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship division, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.

The programme would work in line with the national priorities and goals and its focus would be to build an innovation driven entrepreneurial ecosystem with an objective of socioeconomic development through wealth and job creation.

AIM:

NIDHI aims to nurture start-ups through scouting, supporting and scaling of innovations.

PARTNERS:

The key stakeholders of NIDHI includes various departments and ministries of the central government, state governments, academic and R & D institutions, mentors, financial institutions, angel investors, venture capitalists and private sectors.

VISION:

NIDHI is developed keeping in line the new national aspirations and on the basis of DST’s experience of three decades, in promoting innovative start-ups.

THE KEY COMPONENTS OF NIDHI ARE :

  • 1. NIDHI-GCC – Grand Challenges and Competitions for scouting innovations
  • 2. NIDHI-Promotion and Acceleration of Young and Aspiring technology entrepreneurs (NIDHI-PRAYAS) – Support from Idea to Prototype
  • 3. NIDHI – Entrepreneur in Residence (NIDHI-EIR) – Support system to reduce risk
  • 4. Startup-NIDHI through Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (IEDCs) in academic institutions; encouraging Students to promote start-ups
  • 5. Start-up Centre in collaboration with MHRD; Inculcating a spirit of entrepreneurship in National Institutions of Higher Learning
  • 6. NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator (TBI) – Converting Innovations to start-ups
  • 7. NIDHI-Accelerator – Fast tracking a start-up through focused intervention
  • 8. NIDHI-Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS)- Providing early stage investment
  • 9. NIDHI Centres of Excellence (NIDHI-CoE) – A World class facility to help startups go global
DST has released Rs 1 crore to manufacture and scale up the product, and 1000 of them will soon be ready for installation in various hospitals in Maharashtra. JCLEAN WEATHER TECHNOLOGIES, a Pune based company, is manufacturing the product.

Scitech Airon

The negative ion generator titled Scitech Airon, which helps to control the virus, bacteria, and fungal infections in a closed environment, could clean up the air and disinfect areas which are exposed to the infection through Covid 19 positive cases and suspects.

  • It could ensure the wellbeing of the staff, doctors, and nurses who are working round the clock in the quarantine facilities by enhancing their disease resistance power and ability to fight the virus.
  • Its usefulness in killing disease-causing viruses and bacteria has been scientifically tested by various globally renowned labs in different types of closed environments like houses, hospitals, schools, farms, industries, and so on.
  • One hour of operation of Ion generator machine reduces viral load within a room by 99.7% depending on room size.
  • The Scitech Airon ionizer machine generates negatively charged ions at approx hundred million per 8 seconds (10 ions per sec).

ATMOSPHERIC DETERGENTS:

The negative ions generated by the ionizer form clusters around microparticles such as airborne mold, corona or influenza viruses, mite allergens, bacteria, pollens, dust and so on and render them inactive through a chemical reaction by creating highly reactive OH groups called hydroxyl radicals and H O which are highly reactive and known as atmospheric detergents.

Description: Scitech Airon 1

  • The detergent property generated by the ion generator helps in the breakdown of the outer protein of the allergens, viruses, and bacteria, which helps in controlling airborne diseases.
  • It increases the body’s resistance to infections and harmful environmental factors.
  • This resistance could be helpful for the next 20-30 days outside the ion atmosphere.
It also decomposes gaseous pollutants like Carbon Monoxide (1000 times more harmful than Carbon dioxide), Nitrogen dioxide, and Volatile Organic Compounds.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The efficacy of the Ion generator has also been observed on different types of pathogens like the Influenza virus, Coxsackie virus, Polio virus, Human Corona virus, a range of allergens, bacteria, and fungi.

It could also be useful against floating viruses in the air on public transport, train stations, or airports, or especially within a confined space like a plane cabin, house, hospital ward, and so on.

SUGGESTED READING : https://nidhi-prayas.org/
     SOURCES:THE HINDU/CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

PPE kits, N95 masks and ventilators

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19 Update: Availability of PPE kits, N95 masks and ventilators

      WHY IN NEWS:

In order to meet the requirement of PPEs, masks and ventilators, factories producing essential items are working round the clock and ordinance factories are trying to produce personal protection equipment for medical personnel.

MINISTRY?Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Disease:Health

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS there are some articles which carry less information but cannot be skipped as they fill day to day events everyday . Eventually we forget to read and skip the essence of such issues. Here is one such article.

      ISSUE: 

The prevention, containment and management of COVID-19 in the country are being monitored at the highest level and various actions have been initiated in collaboration with the States.

PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT (PPE) KITS

  • Personal protection equipment (PPE) kits are used by medical personnel working in isolation areas and intensive care units to protect them from acquiring infections.
  • They were not being manufactured in the country.
  • With the prospect of huge requirement of PPEs arising in the near future, the Government of India made proactive efforts to promote their manufacturing in the country.
  • Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have been working together in this endeavour.
  • A Singapore based online platform has been identified which can supply 10 lakh PPE kits and an order has been placed through Ministry of External Affairs to procure them.

N95 MASKS

  • N95 respirators and surgical masks (face masks) are examples of personal protective equipment that are used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face.
  • DRDO is also collaborating with local manufacturers to produce about 20,000 N99 masks per day. This supply is also expected to become available in a week’s time.
  • Hospitals in the country have 11.95 lakh N95 masks in stock as of now. Additional 5 lakh masks were distributed in the past two days and 1.40 lakh masks are being distributed today.
  • 10 lakh masks would be part of the PPE kits being sourced from Singapore.

VENTILATORS

  • Ventilators are required for Covid-19 patients, as they tend to develop acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS).
  • A domestic manufacturers Agva Healthcare in Noida has been able to develop suitable ventilators and an order of 10,000 ventilators has been placed on him.
  • Supplies are expected to commence by the 2nd week of April. In addition, an order for 30,000 ventilators has been placed on Bharat Electronics Limited which is going to collaborate with domestic manufacturers in this endeavour. Indian Auto manufacturers are also preparing to manufacture ventilators.
  • Ministry of External Affairs is also approaching suppliers in China for sourcing 10,000 ventilators from them.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

While Bharat Electronics Limited is going to manufacture ventilators, all drug companies have assured the government that there will not be any shortage of drugs during this crisis and even auto manufacturers are working to develop and produce ventilators. Medical personnel are being trained and are fully prepared for any emergencies.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

National Gallery of Modern Art

      HEADLINES:

National Gallery of Modern Art celebrates 66 years by launching virtual tour of its permanent collection amid lockdown

      WHY IN NEWS:

NGMA has provided facility of virtual tour of its permanent collection for the first ever time in view of extraordinary circumstances

MINISTRY?Ministry of Culture
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:Culture:Visual arts

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is highly importantn to go through the virtual link given below in the article. You will have the glimpses of modern art .

For MAINS how does this effect normal live ? Substantiate.

      ISSUE: 

The Museums and Libraries under Ministry of Culture are closed for public access till further orders due to which people are not able to visit National Gallery of Modern Art to see its permanent collection.

 

NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART ART

THE PRINCIPAL AIMS AND OBJECTIVES :

– To acquire and preserve works of modern art from 1850s onward
– To organize, maintain and develop galleries for permanent display
– To organize special exhibitions not only in its own premises but in other parts of the country and abroad.
– To develop an education and documentation centre in order to acquire, maintain and preserve documents relating to works of modern art
– To develop a specialized library of books, periodicals, photographs and other audio visual materials
– To organize lectures, seminars and conferences, and to encourage higher studies and research in the field of art history, art criticism, art appreciation, museology and the inter-relations on visual and performing arts.

OTHER FEATURES:

The foremost responsibility of the National Gallery of Modern Art is to ensure quality and to set and maintain standards of excellence.

Above all, the National Gallery of Modern Art helps people to look at the works of modern art with greater joy, understanding and knowledge by extending their relationship with our daily life and experiencing them as vital expressions of the human spirit.

NGMA launched Virtual Tour of its permanent collection for the visitors to enjoy without having to physically visit the Museum during these days.

It is for the first time that NGMA has provided the facility of virtual tour of its permanent collection to art lovers.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Sculptures, paintings and prints in the visual tour are a step further to showcase the hidden treasures of our reserve collection at NGMA.

VIRTUAL TOUR LINK :

http://www.ngmaindia.gov.in/index.asp

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Rabi harvest

      HEADLINES:

Rabi harvest to be affected for want of farm workers

      WHY IN NEWS:

Farmers also worry about govt. procurement and the ability to sell crops as markets are still closed

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Agriculture

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS look at the migration pattern . Article is less relevant but you have to track the updates on Rabi crops from now !

For MAINS what are the other opportunities and downside of early  harvest and late harvest of rabi crops?

      ISSUE: 

The lakhs of migrant workers streaming to their home villages due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have left many farmers across the country bereft of agricultural labour just before the crucial harvesting season of the rabi or winter crop.

 

Crucial link: Farm workers harvesting chilli in Rachapudi village of Andhra Pradesh. Kommuri Srinivas

Farmers also worry about government procurement and their ability to sell their crops, given that many mandis or agricultural markets are still closed, despite fresh Home Ministry orders to exempt all such farming activities from the shutdown.

Wheat, mustard, rabi paddy, maize, chickpeas and soyabean are amongst the major crops harvested during this season.

“Most of the agricultural workers in Haryana and Punjab come from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and will not be there for this harvesting season.

For the wheat harvest, farmers may be able to use mechanical combine harvesters.

But Punjab’s mandis alone employ 3.5 lakh agricultural workers during this season, to load, weigh, clean and bag the produce.

“At the end of the day, harvesting cannot be postponed beyond 7 or 8 days, or the grain will shatter.”

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Procurement of harvest will be herculean task for farmers this rabi season.

RELIEF ON CROP LOANS

On Monday, the Centre offered some relief on crop loans up to ₹3 lakh which are due for repayment between March and May, by deciding to extend 2% interest subvention to banks and 3% prompt repayment incentive to all farmers up to May 31, 2020.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

‘Bag valve masks’

      HEADLINES:

‘Bag valve masks’ pitched as alternatives to ventilators

      WHY IN NEWS:

IIT-Hyderabad scientists say the low-cost devices need to be manufactured on a war footing under the monitoring of a government task force

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Recent developments:Innovations:Disease

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you have to understand the working of this mask/ventilators.

For MAINS how hard has competition hit the domestic market for COVID-19 mass production of essential gears ?

      ISSUE: 

B.S. Murty, Director of the Indian Institute of Technology – Hyderabad, has urged the government to consider the use of ‘bag valve masks’ as an alternative to meet any surge in demand for ventilators, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Cheap and portable: Sample of a bag valve mask.

 

‘BAG VALVE MASKS’

Conventional ventilators are generally expensive, hard to produce and not portable.

The  ‘bag valve masks’ were small devices used to deliver breathing support in emergency situations.

They are also known as “ambu bags”.

The ‘bag valve masks’ are currently hand-powered and therefore not suitable for continuous use as a ventilator.

This could easily be remedied by designing similar devices powered by an electrical source, which could be a car battery or conventional power supply.

The devices would be made portable, and therefore easy to use in villages and other areas without power supply and could be manufactured in bulk quite inexpensively.

The cost is so low that it can be considered a single-use device that will be given over to a single patient, and never used again.

Many countries have come up with the idea of manufacturing low-cost ventilators and have even initiated competitions where the winning design would be declared open-source.

HIGH DEMAND

The IIT scientists said that assuming a low 6% infection rate, 80 million people could get affected in India. Of these 80 million, at least 5% (4 million patients) would require ventilators.

Each of these 4 million patients would need the ventilators for around 21 days, thereby blocking that machine for at least that amount of time.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Even if the Indian industry was at peak production of ventilators, it could manufacture only another 60,000 machines in the next 10 months, at a cost of ₹3,600 crore, the scientists estimate.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Cauvery and its tributaries look cleaner

      HEADLINES:

Cauvery and its tributaries look cleaner as pandemic puts a halt to pollution

      WHY IN NEWS:

Release of industrial effluents, dumping of clothes and waste has temporarily stopped due to the lockdown

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1:3:Rivers:Pollution

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through all the right bank and left bank tributaries of Cauvery once.

For MAINS note down the industrial effluents to pen them down and Do you think there is a solution to this Issue in near future ?

      ISSUE: 

According to Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), the quality of water in Cauvery and tributaries like Kabini, Hemavati, Shimsha and Lakshmanathirtha is back to what it used to be decades ago.

 

Blessing in disguise: The temporary stoppage of industrial and religious activities has helped reduce the pollution levels in the Cauvery.

HAZARDOUS ELEMENTS

The fate of other rivers is not very different.

  • Untreated sewage from residential areas;
  • Pollutants from industries;
  • Religious waste materials from pilgrims and
  • Construction debris had been polluting the rivers.
Waters of these rivers contained hazardous elements such as lead, fluoride, faecal coliform and some suspended solids in highly dangerous quantities.

WASTE FROM RITUALS

Priests at Paschima Vahini, Gosai Ghat and Sangam on the banks of the river perform a variety of rituals for the dead.

3,000 people visit these places and temples in Srirangapatna every day and dump tonnes of plantain leaves, garlands, clay pots, coconuts, photos of deities, clothes, polythene covers, leftover food and other puja material in Cauvery.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Rising river pollution spares no area of life in this country. It impacts everyone.  Unless urgent steps are taken to check the pollution of rivers and stringent environment safety rules are enforced strictly, the situation is likely to worsen further.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

 Let us ‘Discuss’

 

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Let us know what you think about this in the comment section.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU/CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 

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