08 May 2023 – Current Affairs

Daily Current Capsules

08 May 2023

Infrastructure Development

Project SMART

NHSRCL: National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited

Relevance IN – Prelims ( about Project SMART) + Mains ( GS III – Infrastructure development)

What’s the NEWS

  • The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the Ministry of Railways jointly signed an MoU with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for ‘Station Area Development along Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail’ (Project-SMART).

Know! about the Project

  • Project-SMART envisages developing surrounding areas of Mumbai – Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway (MAHSR) Stations to enhance accessibility and convenience of commuters & other stakeholders and to promote economic activities in the vicinity of station areas.
  • The project would facilitate and enhance the institutional capacity of State Governments, Municipal Corporations and Urban Development Authorities to plan, develop and manage surrounding areas of MAHSR stations.
  • The MoU was inked for four High-Speed Rail Stations- Sabarmati, Surat in Gujarat and Virar and Thane in Maharashtra; out of 12 stations in the route. Surat, Virar and Thane are Greenfields while Sabarmati is a Brownfield development.

National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited

  • The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has been incorporated since 2016 to manage the High-Speed Rail Corridor in India.
  • It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indian Railways, Ministry of Railways, Government of India.
  • NHSRCL was formed under the Companies Act, 2013.
  • The objective of this body is the development and implementation of high-speed rail projects in India.
  • The corporation is a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ (SPV) in the joint sector with equity participation of the Ministry of Railways, the Government of India and two State Governments – Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Associated Terminologies

Brownfield Project

  • Brownfield projects are projects where some work has already been made. The site is already partly developed with the required infrastructure. From that point onwards new development will be started.

Greenfield Project

  • Greenfield project starts from scratch. The site is not developed and the required infrastructure for the project is normally not present. So a greenfield project starts afresh from scratch

Japan International Cooperation Agency

  • The Japan International Cooperation (JICA) is a governmental agency that delivers the bulk of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the government of Japan.
  • It is chartered with assisting economic and social growth in developing countries, and the promotion of international cooperation.

Cyber Awareness

CISO Deep-Dive training programme

NeGD organises 35th CISO deep dive training programme under MeitY's  initiative Cyber Surakshit Bharat - CIO News

Relevance IN – Prelims ( about CISO programme) + Mains ( GS III – Cyber Security)

What’s the NEWS

Recently, the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) conducted its 36th edition of the CISO Deep-Dive training programme

  • The training programme, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), aimed to build the capacities of CISOs and frontline IT officials in combating cyber-attacks.

CISO Deep-Dive training programme

  • The five-day training programme had 24 participants, including CISOs, technical wings of police and security forces, CTOs, and members of technical/PMU teams from Central Line Ministries and States/UTs.
  • The purpose of the CISO Deep-Dive training programme is to provide CISOs with a comprehensive understanding of cyber-attacks, the latest safeguarding technologies, and how to communicate the benefits of a strong e-infrastructure to organizations and the public. Coverage of Topics

Know! about CISO Training

  • The CISO training programme was launched in 2018 under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
  • NeGD has organized 36 sessions of CISO deep-dive training programs for more than 1,419 CISOs and IT officials since that time.
  • The Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative of MeitY has made this training programme available for designated CISOs from Central and State/UT Governments
  • The programme is intended to strengthen the capacities of CISOs and frontline IT officials across all government departments to combat cyber-attacks.

Prelims Factoids


The hunt for Himalayan Viagra - The Week

Relevance IN – Prelims ( about yarchagumba)

What’s the NEWS

  • Three ‘Himalayan Viagra’ pickers are feared dead and another 12 were injured after being hit by an avalanche in Nepal.

Know! about Fungus Cordyceps sinensis (yarchagumba)

  • Every year, thousands of villagers in Nepal and Tibet harvest the parasitic fungus Cordyceps Sinensis, known locally as yarchagumba, which is said to boost sexual performance.
  • The fungus, which grows on the body of a caterpillar, can fetch huge sums in neighbouring China, where it is used in herbal medicines, and is only found at certain elevations for a few weeks each year.
  • Yarchagumba, which means ‘summer plant, winter insect’ in Tibetan, is only found at altitudes above 11,500 feet (3,500 metres) and forms when the parasitic fungus lodges itself in a caterpillar, slowly killing it.
  • No definitive research has been published on the beneficial qualities of the fungus, but Chinese herbalists believe that, like Viagra, it can aid sexual performance.

Science and Technology

9-aminoacridine (9AA)

Newly synthesised biocompatible drug delivery system combined with anti-inflammatory  drugs brings potential solution for rheumatoid arthritis - UNN

Relevance IN – Prelims ( about the new drug) + Mains ( GS III – awareness in the field of S&T)

What’s the NEWS

  • A newly synthesised biocompatible therapeutic nano-micelle drug delivery system combined with anti-inflammatory drugs has shown an improved potential to cure rheumatoid arthritis at the lab level.
  • It can help ameliorate the pain associated with the disease as well as cure the disease by restoring cartilage integrity which provides flexibility to the bone.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

  • Inflammation plays an important role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
  • As a result, strategies for treating RA have been largely focused on providing symptomatic relief from pain and a permanent cure is not available to date.
  • Methotrexate (MTX) is considered a golden standard for the therapy of the disease but due to its severe side effects, researchers are currently looking for alternate drugs or strategies to overcome the disease.

Role of 9AA and CA

  • Scientists explored the potential of the anti-inflammatory FDA-approved drug 9-aminoacridine (9AA) and the natural compound caffeic acid (CA), generally found in coffee or wine (reported to possess significant anti-arthritic potential) conjugated to nano micelles, an amphiphilic molecule that forms spherical structure when immersed in water, for the treatment of RA.
  • A research group has developed a therapeutic nano-micelle loaded with an anti-inflammatory drug (9AA).
  • When administered, this shows site-specific inhibition of inflammatory mediators due to activation of the NR4A1 gene (Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 4 Group A Member 1), which regulates inflammatory mechanism by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines by Fluorescent 9 aminoacridine (FDA-approved drug molecule).
  • The nano micelle itself has the potential to provide a therapeutic effect, but when combined with an anti-inflammatory drug, it showed enhanced potential to cure rheumatoid arthritis experimentally by inhibiting joint damage and cartilage degradation.
  • The new strategy inhibits joint damage and cartilage degradation and showed short-term (21 days) disease eradication and long-term (45 days) protection from the reappearance of the disease.

Associated terms

Anti-inflammatory drugs

  • A drug or substance that reduces inflammation (redness, swelling, and pain) in the body. Anti-inflammatory agents block certain substances in the body that cause inflammation. They are used to treat many different conditions.

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