CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC| The Hindu | PRELIMS 2020 | 3rd April 2020

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IASbhai DAILY 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.

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.– George Addair

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.

New features of e-NAM platform

      HEADLINES:

Union Agriculture Minister launches new features of e-NAM platform

      WHY IN NEWS:

Shri Tomar says new features of e-NAM are important steps in our fight against COVID-19

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Agriculture

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS there are two separate modules of interaction between e-NAM and farmers . You shuld have crystal clear concepts regarding the same !

For MAINS go through

      ISSUE: 

The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar here today launched new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform   to strengthen agriculture marketing by farmers which will reduce their need to physically come to  wholesale mandis  for selling  their harvested produce, at a time when there is critical need to decongest mandis to effectively fight against COVID-19.

THESE SOFTWARE MODULES ARE :

(i) Warehouse based trading module in e-NAM software to  facilitate trade from warehouses based on e-NWR

(ii)  FPO trading module in e-NAM whereby FPOs can trade their produce from their collection center without bringing the produce to APMC.

In addition to facilitate inter-mandi and inter-state trade at this juncture, enhanced version of logistic module has been released whereby aggregators of transport logistic platform have  on boarded which helps users to avail trackable transport facilities for transporting their produce.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar reiterated that e-NAM was launched on 14 April 2016 as a pan-India electronic trade portal linking APMCs across the States.

Already 585 mandis in 16 States and 02 Union Territories have been integrated on e-NAM portal.

He also said that e-NAM will be soon expanded to cover additional 415 mandis, which will take the total number of e-NAM mandis to 1,000.

Further highlighting, he said e-NAM provides for contactless remote bidding and mobile-based any time payment for which traders do not need to either visit mandis or banks for the same.

This helps improve social distancing and safety in the APMC markets  to fight against COVID-19.

He further added that these new features are being launched today as important steps towards our fight against COVID-19, to help farmers at this juncture to effectively sell their produce at better prices from near their farm gate thus helping them at this time.

The minister said that the mandis play  a critical role in maintaining the supply chain of Grains, Fruits & Vegetables.

e-NAM is well poised to play a critical role during the period of Covid-19 to decongest mandis while helping the farmers at same time.

LAUNCH OF “NEGOTIABLE WAREHOUSE RECEIPT (E-NWRS) MODULE IN NATIONAL AGRICULTURE MARKET (E-NAM) SOFTWARE

  1. Warehouse (Registered with WDRA) trading module with payment feature is launched today to enable small & marginal famers to directly trade their stored produce from selected WDRA registered warehouses which are declared deemed market by the State.
  2. Farmers will be able to place their produce in WDRA accredited warehouses.
  3. Already States of Telangana (14 warehouses) & Andhra Pradesh (23 warehouses) declared designated warehouses in the State as deemed market.

BENEFITS OF ENWRS INTEGRATION WITH E-NAM

  1. Depositor can save the Logistics expenses and will have better income.
  2. Farmers  can sell the  produce across the Nation  to get better Price and at the same time  can save himself from hassle of mandi.
  3. Farmers will be able to place their produce in WDRA accredited warehouses avail the benefit of pledge loan if required.
  4.  Price stabilization by matching supply and demand through time and place utility.

FPO TRADING MODULE

  1. FPO trading module is launched today to enable FPOs to upload their produce from their premise/collection centres for bidding. 
  2. Facility provided to FPO to upload assaying report / photo of their produce from their premise to enable traders to visualise the produce before bidding.

BENEFITS

  1. This will not only decongest the mandis but also reduce the  hassle of FPOs to deal with mandis.
  2. This will help FPOs by reducing transaction costs (Transportation) and enhancing their bargaining power.
  3. Facilitates FPOs to avail online payment facility with ease of doing business.

LAUNCH OF LOGISTIC MODULE

  1. Presently, e-NAM provides a database of individual transporters to the traders.

BENEFITS

  1. This will help in seamless transportation of agri produce.
  2. This will promote inter-State trade under e-NAM by providing online transport facilities for distant buyers.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Further that Mandis have been advised to adopt utmost sanitary and social distancing measures for the safety of farmers and other stakeholders.

States are also being encouraged to facilitate direct buying by bulk buyers/processors and big retailers without having to go through mandis to decongest them.

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

Geo-fencing app

      HEADLINES:

Geo-fencing app will be used to locate quarantine violators

      WHY IN NEWS:

It triggers alerts to govt. agency if anyone jumps quarantine

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:3:Privacy:Telecommunication:Telegraph Act

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the factual merits here Ex- Why , How ,Who etc

For MAINS you have to decode Indian Telegraph Act in depth.

      ISSUE: 

The Centre is using powers under the Indian Telegraph Act to “fetch information” from telecom companies every 15 minutes to track COVID-19 cases across the country.

 

 

GEO-FENCING

The government has tested an application that triggers e-mails and SMS alerts to an authorised government agency if a person has jumped quarantine or escaped from isolation, based on the person’s mobile phone’s cell tower location.

The “geo-fencing” is accurate by up to 300 m, a government communication said.

USED BY KERALA

Kerala was one of the first States to use geo-fencing to track COVID-19 cases.

On March 29, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) shared a standard operating procedure (SOP) with all telecom service providers regarding the application called COVID-19 Quarantine Alert System (CQAS).

The system will collate phone data, including the device’s location, on a common secured platform and alert the local agencies in case of a violation by COVID-19 patients under watch or in isolation.

SECURE NETWORK

The SOP says that the DoT and C-DOT, in coordination with telecom service providers, have developed and tested the application.

It said the location information is received periodically over a secure network for the authorised cases with “due protection of the data received”.

The States have been asked to seek the approval of their Home Secretaries under the provisions of Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, for the specified mobile phone numbers to request the DoT to provide information by email or SMS in case of violation of “geo-fencing”.

DATA WILL BE DELETED

It said that the phone number should be deleted from the system after the period for which location monitoring is required is over and the data would be deleted four weeks from thereon.

“The data collected shall be used only for the purpose of Health Management in the context of COVID-19 and is strictly not for any other purposes.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Any violation in this regard would attract penal provisions under the relevant laws,” .

The SOP said that geo-fencing will only work if the quarantined person has a mobile phone from Airtel, Vodafone-Idea or Reliance Jio, as “BSNL/MTNLdo not support location based services.

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

DRDO develops bio suit

      HEADLINES:

DRDO develops bio suit with seam sealing glue to keep health professionals fighting COVID-19 safe

      WHY IN NEWS:

Scientists at various DRDO laboratories have applied their technical know-how and expertise in textile, coating and nanotechnology to develop the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) having specific type of fabric with coating.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases:DRDO

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you need to focus on what is this suit made up of ! And the respective technology .

For MAINS do you think mass production will be an easy task with low man power and small work force ?

      ISSUE: 

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a bio suit to keep the medical, paramedical and other personnel engaged in combating COVID-19 safe from the deadly virus.

 

KEY POINTS:

  • The suit has been prepared with the help of the industry and subjected to rigorous testing for textile parameters as well as protection against synthetic blood.
  • The protection against synthetic blood exceeds the criteria defined for body suits by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • The DRDO is making all efforts to ensure that these suits are produced in large numbers and serve as robust line of defence for the medics, paramedics and other personnel in the front line combating COVID-19.
  • The current production capacity is 7,000 suits per day.
  • The DRDO has prepared a special sealant as an alternative to seam sealing tape based on the sealant used in submarine applications.
Presently, bio suits prepared using this glue for seam sealing by an industry partner has cleared test at Southern India Textile Research Association (SITRA) Coimbatore.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

This can be a game changer for the textile industry.

The DRDO can mass produce this glue through industry to support the seam sealing activity by suit manufacturers.

The DRDO has developed a number of products and technologies for defence against Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) agents.

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

INS Nireekshak

      HEADLINES:

Indian Navy Warship Supports Stranded Fishermen at Sea

      WHY IN NEWS:

The boat with 10 crew, did not have sufficient fuel, water and provision to reach home port Kolachel in Tamilnadu and was found stranded off kochi.

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence:INSV

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS you have to go through the prime features and specs . Thats it !

For MAINS do you think Maritime patrolling has been India’s strength in 21st Century ? Compare Maritime surveillance with China and USA .

      ISSUE: 

INS Nireekshak, a Diving support vessel of Southern Naval Command, based at Kochi, on mission patrol along the Kerala Coast came to the rescue of 10 fishermen stranded onboard Fishing Boat Saint Nicholas, of Tamilnadu origin on 01 Apr 20 off Kochi.

 

INS Nireekshak,  realising that the boat was in distress provided assistance to the fishing boat by transferring 300 litters of fuel, water and provision to sustain them till they reach their home port.

The boat had left kochi on 12 Mar for fishing in Arabian Sea and has not touched any other port since then.

INS NIREEKSHAK

  • INS Nireekshak is a diving support vessel (DSV) of Indian Navy.
  • It can also function as interim submarine rescue vessel (SRV).
  • INS Nireekshak was originally built by M/s Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai for ONGC‘s offshore oil exploration work having a dynamic position facility and a recompression chamber.
  • It was however acquired on lease with an option for purchase by Indian Navy and was commissioned on 8 June 1989.
  • The ship was modified and refitted with the diving bell and other rescue equipment removed from the Russian Submarine rescue vessel INS Nistar in a dry dock.
  • The ship is equipped with two Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicles (DSRV), capable of taking 12 men to 300 meters together, with two six-man recompression chambers and one three-man diving bell.
  • It is intended to facilitate rescue from a submarine in distress and training of saturation divers. Its pennant number is A-15

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Naval ships continue to remain mission deployed during COVID-19 crisis and the deployments are being planned without any port visit to the extent possible or with at least a gap of 14 days at sea from the last port visit prior return.

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

AarogyaSetu

      HEADLINES:

AarogyaSetu: A multi-dimensional bridge

      WHY IN NEWS:

It will enable people to assess themselves the risk for their catching the Corona Virus infection.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Electronics & IT
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS such apps can be asked in simple MCQ’s . Understand the technology it is using and the functionalities. If possible install it once and play with it for some time !

For MAINS how technology driven campaign against COVID-19 can assist centre and state governments?

      ISSUE: 

The Government of India today launched a mobile app developed in public-private partnership to bring the people of India together in a resolute fight against COVID-19.
The App, called ‘AarogyaSetu’ joins Digital India for the health and well-being of every Indian.

MORE ABOUT THE APP:

  • It will calculate this based on their interaction with others, using cutting edge Bluetooth technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Once installed in a smart phone through an easy and user-friendly process, the app detects other devices with AarogyaSetu installed that come in the proximity of that phone.
  • The app can then calculate the risk of infection based on sophisticated parameters if any of these contacts is tested positive.
  • The App will help the Government take necessary timely steps for assessing risk of spread of COVID-19 infection, and ensuring isolation where required.
  • The App’s design ensures privacy-first.
  • The personal data collected by the App is encrypted using state-of-the-art technology and stays secure on the phone till it is needed for facilitating medical intervention.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Available in 11 languages, the App is ready for pan-India use from day-1 and has highly scalable architecture.
  • This app is a unique example of the nation’s young talent coming together and pooling resources and efforts to respond to a global crisis.
  • It is at once a bridge between public and private sectors, digital technology and health services delivery and the potential of young India with a disease-free and healthy future of the nation.

मैंसुरक्षित।हमसुरक्षित।भारतसुरक्षित।

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

 ‘Ex NCC Yogdan’

      HEADLINES:

NCC offers its volunteer cadets for national duty to fight COVID-19 under ‘Ex NCC Yogdan’

      WHY IN NEWS:

Issues guidelines for temporary employment of cadets

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the YOGDAN ! Thats it !

For MAINS note down humanitarian assistance provided by NCC cadets.

      ISSUE: 

National Cadet Corps (NCC) has offered a helping hand to civilian authorities in the country’s fight against COVID-19 by extending the services of cadets under ‘Exercise NCC Yogdan’. It has issued guidelines for temporary employment of its cadets to augment relief efforts and functioning of various agencies involved in battling the pandemic.

THE TASKS ENVISAGED FOR NCC CADETS INCLUDE:

  • manning of helpline/call centres;
  • distribution of relief materials/medicines/ food/essential commodities;
  • community assistance;
  • data management and queue & traffic management.

GUIDELINES :

  • Cadets should not be employed in handling of law and order situation or for active military duties or at hot spots.
  • Only Senior Division volunteer cadets above 18 years of age will be employed.
  • They should be employed in small cohesive groups of eight to 20 under the supervision of Permanent Instructor Staff or/and an Associate NCC Officer.
  • For employment of volunteer cadets, State governments /district administration has to send the requisition through State NCC Directorates.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Details will be coordinated at Directorate/Group Headquarters/Unit level with state government/local civil authority.

Before the cadets are deployed for the duty, ground conditions and laid down requirements are to be ensured.

The NCC, which operates under Ministry of Defence, is the largest uniformed youth organisation of the country and has been engaged in conducting various social service and community development activities.

The NCC cadets have been contributing to the national cause during natural calamities like floods, cyclone, etc since its inception.

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

Approved projects to combat CoVID-19

      HEADLINES:

DST-SERB announces first set of approved projects to combat CoVID-19 & related respiratory infections

      WHY IN NEWS:

Given the lack of availability of suitable chemotherapeutic interventions and an efficacious vaccine, the global population has been hit hard with utmost vulnerability to the current coronavirus outbreak.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and Technology

      ISSUE: 

  In view of increasing the load of CoVID-19 infections in India, the Department of Science and Technology– Science and Engineering Board (DST-SERB) announced several special research project calls to urgently ramp up national R&D efforts against the epidemic.
  • COVID-19 virus has spread rapidly throughout the world, a crisis which the World Health Organisation has termed as a pandemic.
  • The first set of 5 projects has been selected by DST-SERB, which will be supported for further development into implementable technologies.
  • Three of these projects concern the highly important issue of antiviral and virustatic surface coating of inanimate surfaces, such as personal protection equipment (PPE);
  • While another one deals with the identification of metabolite biomarkers in CoVID-19 infected patients enabling therapeutic target identification;
  • The last one concerns with the development of antibodies against the receptor-binding domain of the spike glycoprotein of coronavirus.

THE PROJECTS ARE THE FOLLOWING:

IDENTIFICATION OF GLOBAL METABOLITE BIOMARKERS IN COVID-19 INFECTED PATIENTS FOR TARGETED THERAPY

This will identify the global metabolite biomarkers in CoVID-19 infected patients.

It will help in search of potential biomarker signature for CoVID infection and recognition of novel targets for therapy.

DEVELOPMENT OF FUNCTIONALIZED INANIMATE SURFACES WITH REPURPOSABLE MULTI-TARGETED VIRICIDAL AGENTS/DRUGS FOR PREVENTIVE AND COST-EFFECTIVE ANTIVIRAL APPLICATIONS

It will help develop viricidal coatings for inanimate surfaces used in healthcare settings such as surgical masks for the prevention of infectious diseases caused by highly contagious pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome-related novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

DEVELOPMENT OF ANTIVIRAL SURFACE COATINGS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF INFECTIONS CAUSED BY INFLUENZA VIRUS

As the attachment of viruses onto surfaces leads to the spread of deadly infections, the objective of the proposal is to develop small molecular and polymeric compounds which will be coated, both covalently as well as non-covalently, on various surfaces and kill respiratory viruses completely upon contact.

DEVELOPMENT OF FORMULATIONS FOR VIRAL DECONTAMINATION OF INANIMATE SURFACES

This will help develop material which may be used as a virus tactic and be applied to mops to disinfect the surfaces to remove any adhering viruses or bacteria.

ANTIBODY-BASED CAPTURE OF 2019-NCOV AND ITS INACTIVATION USING LIPID-BASED IN SITU GEL

This project will help develop antibodies against the receptor-binding domain of the spike glycoprotein of CoV involved in recognizing a host cell-surface receptor, namely, zinc peptidase angiotensin-converting enzyme 2.

Another objective is to develop unsaturated free fatty acid-based emulsion loaded in-situ gels to inactivate the virus at the point of entry.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The projects were selected after peer-review and assessment by a Special Expert Committee for CoVID-19 projects.

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

Automated ventilators

      HEADLINES:

SCTIMST ties up with Wipro 3D to manufacture automated ventilators to meet COVID 19 related crisis

      WHY IN NEWS:

The ventilators can help meet urgent requirements arising out of the Covid 19 related crisis that the country is facing.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases

      ISSUE: 

Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an institute of National Importance of the Department of Science and Technology, has tied up with Wipro 3D, Bengaluru to jointly build up on a prototype of an emergency ventilator system based on Artificial Manual Breathing Unit (AMBU), developed by SCTIMST followed by its clinical trial and manufacture.

KEY POINTS:

  • AMBU bag or a bag-valve-mask (BVM) is a hand-held device used to provide positive pressure ventilation to a patient who is either not breathing or who is breathing inadequately.
  • The use of a regular AMBU needs a bystander for its operations who is highly susceptible and non-advisable to be in close contact with the COVID-19 patient.
  • Sree Chitra’s Automated AMBU Ventilator with inputs from clinical faculty will assist the breathing of the critical patients who have no access to ICU ventilators.
  • For enabling rapid production, the device is designed with readily available components so that it becomes an alternative solution.
  • It provides ventilation support to the needy and is an ideal solution for ventilation shortages.
  • This portable and lightweight device enables positive pressure ventilation with a controlled rate of expiration, Inspiratory to Expiratory Ratio, Tidal Volume, and so on.
A PEEP (Positive End Expiratory Pressure) Valve can be added as an extra component to maintain pressure on the lower airways at the end of the breathing cycle, which prevents the alveoli from collapsing during expiration.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The compressed gas source can also be attached to the system.
  • The automatic device will minimize the need of support personnel in the isolation room, thereby enabling a safer and effective lung-protective operation to COVID patients.

“The technology was developed in a week. Millions of people worldwide are affected by COVID-19, and the numbers are increasing at a very fast rate. In this alarming situation, a handy artificial manual breathing unit (AMBU) will be very helpful. SCTIMST has a long tradition of developing and commercializing need-based medical devices.

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

 

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