DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB -28th February 2020- IASbhai

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IASbhai DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS(THE HINDU+LIVEMINT+PIB)

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.-Jimmy Dean

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

Diagnostics for Asymptomatic Malaria

      HEADLINES:

Diagnostics for Asymptomatic Malaria

      WHY IN NEWS:

The fight against Malaria could get easier with a joint team of scientists from Department of Biotechnology’s Bhubaneswar-based Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) and Bengaluru-based Jigsaw Bio Solutions, coming up with a method that promises to overcome the problem of inadequate identification of asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is very important to understand the principle of this new invention.

For MAINS it is our goal to eradicate malaria by 2030 , so such findings can much support your answers relevant to Malaria

      ISSUE: 

Light microscopy and protein immunoassay-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are used in the diagnosis of Malaria, in mass screening and treatment programs for the diseases, and in surveillance of malaria control measures.

WHAT ARE IMMUNOASSAY?

  • An immunoassay is a test that relies on biochemistry to measure the presence and/or concentration of an analyte.
  • The analyte can be large proteins, antibodies that a person has produced as a result of an infection or small molecules.
  • The principle component of an immunoassay designed to detect a specific analyte, such as influenza nucleoprotein, are the antibodies that have been carefully selected to ensure the detection of the analyte at low concentration with high specificity, meaning will not react with similar antigens.

30-50% of low-density infections, which typically have less than two parasites/microlitre and are frequently observed in asymptomatic carriers who serve as “silent” reservoirs of the infection capable of transmitting the disease through mosquitoes.

Identification of asymptomatic carriers in the endemic areas is recognized as a major hurdle in malaria eradication programmes.

An asymptomatic carrier (healthy carrier or just carrier) is a person or other organism that has become infected with a pathogen, but that displays no signs or symptoms. Although unaffected by the pathogen, carriers can transmit it to others or develop symptoms in later stages of the disease.

New diagnostic methods with higher sensitivity are needed.

In a new study, a team of researchers led by Dr. V. Arun Nagaraj of Institute of Life Sciences and Mr. Srinivasa Raju of Jigsaw Bio Solutions Pvt.

IDENTICAL MULTI-REPEAT SEQUENCES (IMRS)

They used a new concept of genome mining that identifies identical multi-repeat sequences (IMRS) distributed throughout the malaria parasite genome and successfully targeted them to develop what is called a “ultra-sensitive” qPCR assay for malaria diagnosis.

Genome mining involves the identification of previously uncharacterized natural product biosynthetic gene clusters within the genomes of sequenced organisms, sequence analysis of the enzymes encoded by these gene clusters, and the experimental identification of the products of the gene clusters.

Validation with clinical samples collected from malaria endemic regions in India showed that that assays were highly sensitive – about 20-100 times more than the traditional methods.

They could detect submicroscopic samples.

They were four to eight times better than other high-sensitive methods.

Further, they were extremely specific for Plasmodium falciparum, which is the deadliest species of malaria parasite and did not cross-react with Plasmodium vivax species, which is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria, but far less virulent.

FUTURE

“The study could lead to the development of highly sensitive, point-of-care molecular diagnostics that can be explored in miniaturized, isothermal, microfluidic platforms and lab-on-a-chip devices.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The IMRS approach can serve as a platform technology for the diagnosis of other infectious diseases as well”.

India has developed a National Framework for eliminating malaria by 2030 and to achieve this goal, identifying the asymptomatic carriers in the endemic areas and clearing their infections are very much important.

The new finding could help in this. DBT’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council funded the project

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

Offshore Patrol Vessel-6 “VAJRA”

      HEADLINES:

Offshore Patrol Vessel-6 “VAJRA” is launched today at Chennai

      WHY IN NEWS:

Indian Coast Guard is one of the largest coast guard in the world with capabilities to meet maritime security challenges : Shri Mansukh Mandaviya

MINISTRY?Ministry of Shipping
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:DEFENCE

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through the features of this patrolling vehicle newly inducted. This is important!

For MAINS nothing much here except the significance of maritime security.

      ISSUE: 

Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping(I/C) and  Chemicals & Fertilizers was the Chief Guest for the launching ceremony of 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV-6) ’VAJRA’  today at Chennai .

AIM

  • The vessel is expected to strengthen the Indian Coast Guard’s efforts to secure the vast Indian coastline measuring about 7500 km and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) measuring over 20 lakh sq km.
  • VAJRA will also strengthen the coast guard’s efforts to ensure safe passage to almost one lakh merchant ships transiting through the Indian waters every year for global trade.

 

 

FEATURES

  •  VAJRA is a state-of-the-art-platform, which will enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian Coast Guard in surveillance and search and rescue. It will be manned by 121 personnel.
  • The ship will be used mainly for day and night patrolling and surveillance along with anti-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
  • It will have two Navigation Radars with ultra-modern technology and advance navigational and communication systems.
  • It will also be fitted with CRN-91 and 12.7 mm guns and have an integral twin-engine helicopter, which will enhance its operational, surveillance, search and rescue capability.
  • Overall, the vessel is 98m in length and 15m in width with a gross weight of 2,100 tonnes. It is equipped with two diesel-driven engines and can hit a maximum speed of 26 knots.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The ship would be utilized for day and night patrol/surveillance along with anti-terrorist/ anti-smuggling operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as Coastal Security. The OPV will have two Navigation Radars with ultra-modern technology, Sophisticated navigational and latest communication systems.

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

Biofuel from microorganisms

      HEADLINES:

Biofuel from microorganisms

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

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the significance of Cyanobacteria and there relevance in bio-fuels.

      ISSUE: 

The biofuel sector could get a boost, with researchers at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) developing a method to improve the growth rate and sugar content of a marine microorganism called Synechococcus PCC 7002.

CYANOBACTERIA-BASED SUGAR PRODUCTION

Most biotechnological processes, including biofuel production, are dependent on the availability of low-cost and sustainable supply of sugars and a nitrogen source.

The sugars typically come from plants.

Plants utilize light energy through the process of photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into biological components such as sugars, proteins and lipids.

However, some bacteria, such as the cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae), too can perform photosynthesis and produce sugar by fixing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The yield of sugars from cyanobacteria could potentially be much higher than that of land-based crops.

Further, unlike plant-based sugars, cyanobacterial biomass provides a nitrogen source in the form of proteins.

Cyanobacteria are found in both fresh and marine waters.

Using marine cyanobacteria could be better as freshwater is increasingly getting scarce.

However, there is a need to significantly improve their growth rates and sugar content in order to improve the economic feasibility of marine cyanobacteria-based sugar production.

RESEARCH STUDY

A team from International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology has achieved this. Dr. Shireesh Srivastava, Group Leader of the System Biology for Biofuel group of the Centre and an investigator in the DBT-ICGEB Centre for Advanced Bioenergy Research, and Jai Kumar Gupta, a Ph.D. student at ICGEB led the team.

They have successfully engineered a marine cyanobacterium called Synechococcus sp.PCC 7002 which showed a higher growth rate and sugar (glycogen) content. When grown on air, the growth was doubled and the glycogen content of the cells increased by about 50%.

PCC 7002 is a model marine cyanobacterium and there were other Synechococcus species or related organisms where this work can be extended right away.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Research conducting several follow-up studies related to this work including scaling up the cultures to larger volumes, growing cells on urea from human and animal urine, optimizing the extraction of sugars and proteins from the cyanobacterial biomass, and a proof-of-concept production of a biotechnological product such as bioethanol from the processed biomass.

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

24th Meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council

      HEADLINES:

Curtain Raiser – 24th Meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council at Bhubaneswar on 28th February, 2020

      WHY IN NEWS:

The 24th meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council, comprising of the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, is scheduled to be held on 28th February, 2020 at Bhubaneswar.

MINISTRY?Ministry of Home Affairs
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:Zonal Council

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS know the importance of Zonal Councils , Functions and origin.

For MAINS have a clear idea about the issues prevailing in this region.

      ISSUE: 

The upcoming meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council will deliberate upon nearly 4 dozen issues which inter alia include inter-State water issues, power transmission lines, royalty on & operationalization of coals mines, land & forest clearance of rail projects, investigation of heinous offences, cattle smuggling across country’s borders, lack of telecom & banking infrastructure in remote areas, petroleum projects, sharing pattern on centrally collected revenues etc.

ORIGIN

Five Zonal Councils were set up in the year 1957 under Section 15-22 of the States Reorganization Act, 1956.

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE OF ZONAL COUNCILS

  • Chairman – The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
  • Vice Chairman – The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
  • Members– Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
  • AdvisersOne person nominated by the Planning Commission for each of the Zonal Councils, Chief Secretaries and another officer/Development Commissioner nominated by each of the States included in the Zone

Union Ministers are also invited to participate in the meetings of Zonal Councils depending upon necessity.

OBJECTIVES OF THE ZONAL COUNCILS

The Zonal Councils provide an excellent forum where irritants between Centre and States and amongst States can be resolved through free and frank discussions and consultations. Being advisory bodies, there is full scope for free and frank exchange of views in their meetings.

The main objectives of setting up of Zonal Councils are as under :

  • Bringing out national integration;
  • Arresting the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies;
  • Enabling the Centre and the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences;
  • Establishing a climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.

FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCILS

Zonal Council may discuss, and make recommendations with regard to:

  • any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning;
  • any matter concerning border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport;
  • any matter connected with or arising out of, the re-organization of the States under the States Reorganisation Act.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Zonal Councils discuss broad range of issues, which include boundary related disputes, security, infrastructure related matters like road, transport, industries, water and power etc., matters pertaining to forests & environment, housing, education, food security, tourism, transport, etc.

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

 New Trio of Products for marine-based users

      HEADLINES:

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services launch New Trio of Products for marine-based users

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad has launched a trio of products to better cater to its diverse users.

MINISTRY?Ministry of Earth Science
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Earth Science.

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS these three initiatives are very important for Prelims 2020 ! Go through them in depth and revise them till last moment.

For MAINS understand these products and link them with main beneficiaries from fishermen to oil explorers.

      ISSUE: 

INCOIS was established as an autonomous body in 1999 under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO). ESSO- INCOIS is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvements through systematic and focussed research.

INCOIS prioritises requests for specific services from its diverse user community that ranges right from fishermen to offshore oil exploration industries.

NEW PRODUCTS FROM INCOIS

SMALL VESSEL ADVISORY AND FORECAST SERVICES SYSTEM (SVAS):

  • One of these new products is the Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVAS), to improve operations on the numerous small marine vessels, particularly fishing vessels that ply the coastal waters of India.
  • The warning system is based on the  ‘Boat Safety Index’ (BSI) derived from wave model forecast outputs such as significant wave height, wave steepness, directional spread and the rapid development of wind at sea which is boat-specific.

SWELL SURGE FORECAST SYSTEM:

The Swell Surge Forecast System was also launched, which will provide fore warnings for the coastal population of India’s vast shoreline, which experiences a slew of damages caused by the swell waves that actually originate from the distant southern Indian Ocean.

ALGAL BLOOM INFORMATION SERVICE (ABIS):

The final new product in this trio is the Algal Bloom Information Service (ABIS), providing timely information on harmful algal blooms, which are detrimental to coastal fisheries and also tend to induce respiratory problems within the coastal population from time to time.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

All three products focus on significantly reducing damage and losses for service/product users and the coastal population.

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

MH-60R copters

      HEADLINES:

Lockheed to deliver six MH-60R copters in 2021

      WHY IN NEWS:

Deal was signed during Trump’s visit

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Defence

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS we have mentioned all the special features about this multi-role helicopter.Go through them !

For MAINS nothing much here.

      ISSUE: 

Lockheed Martin will deliver six MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) to the Navy in 2021 and the order would be completed by 2025, sources said on Thursday.

 

The helicopter will operate from frontline ships and aircraft carriers.

MH-60R MULTI-ROLE HELICOPTERS (MRH)

Operational and deployed today with the U.S. Navy as the primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean and littoral zones, the MH-60R SEAHAWK helicopter is the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter. It is the most capable naval helicopter available today designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.

FEATURES:

PROVEN PERFORMANCE:

  • Over 300 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters worldwide with over 600,000 flight hours accumulated.
  • Internationally Operations for the U.S. Navy, Royal Danish Navy, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Force

Unmatched Multi-Mission Capability

  • Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / Anti-Surface (ASuW)
  • Special Operations / Search & Rescue (SAR)
  • Utility / Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP)
  • Command and Control (C2)

SUPERIOR MARITIME CAPABILITIES

  • Fully Integrated Mission System builds complete situational awareness and actionable knowledge, enabling target engagement both close-in and over-the-horizon.

MOST RELIABLE, COST EFFECTIVE:

  • 98% Availability (Ready Basic Aircraft)
  • Less than $5K (USD) cost per flight hour
  • Lowest life-cycle cost in its class
     SOURCES:THE HINDU/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

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