3,4,5 & 6 Aug 2023 – Current Affairs
Daily Current Capsules
3,4,5 and 6 August 2023
Digital India RISC-V (DIR-V) Symposium
- Digital India RISC-V (DIR-V) Symposium organised by IIT Madras in Chennai.
Know! about DIR-V programme
- The DIR-V programme, launched last year, aims at boosting India’s semiconductor ecosystem by creating advanced microprocessors.
- It would largely be driven by the creativity and innovation of Indian youth and start-ups across the globe
- The Ministry of Electronics and IT has started the Digital India RISC-V (DIR-V) programme to launch the first indigenous chipset by 2023-24 and boost the local development of electronic chips
- The Blueprint of the roadmap of design & implementation of the DIR-V Program with – SHAKTI Processor by IIT Madras and VEGA Processor by C-DAC and the strategic Roadmap for India’s Semiconductor Design & Innovation to catalyze the semiconductor ecosystem in the country were announced.
- North India’s first River Rejuvenation Project Devika is nearing completion.
- It has been built at a cost of over Rs 190 crore on the lines of ‘Namami Ganga’
Know! about Devika River
- Devika river originates from the hilly Suddha Mahadev temple in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir and flows down towards western Punjab (now in Pakistan) where it merges with the Ravi river.
- The river holds religious significance as it is revered by Hindus as the sister of river Ganga.
National River Conservation Plan (NRCP)
- NRCP is a centrally funded scheme
- It was launched in 1995 aimed at preventing the pollution of rivers.
- It is being implemented under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) and NGRBA (National Ganga River Basin Authority).
- The National Ganga Council, also known as the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management of River Ganga, has replaced the NRGBA.
Theppakadu Elephant Camp And The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
- The President of India, visited Theppakadu Elephant Camp, one of Asia’s oldest Elephant camps, at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
- The Government is setting up a “State-of-the-art Elephant Conservation Center and Eco Complex” at Theppakadu Elephant Camp to make it a pioneer in Asian elephant conservation.
- Tribal communities are playing an important role in preserving India’s cultural heritage.
- Traditional knowledge and experience of the people belonging to Bettakurumbar, Kattunayakar and Malasar tribal communities is being utilized to manage the Theppakadu Elephant Camp.
Mudumalai National Park
- Mudumalai National Park is a national park in the Nilgiri Mountains in Tamil Nadu in southern India.
- It shares boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala.
- The national park has been part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve since 1986 and was declared a tiger reserve together with a buffer zone of 367.59 km2 in 2007.
- It is drained by the Moyar River and several tributaries, which harbour 38 fish species.
Festival of Libraries
- The President of India, inaugurated the ‘Festival of Libraries’ in New Delhi
- This Festival is being organized by the Ministry of Culture with the aim to promote development and digitization of Libraries and cultivate the culture of reading.
Bureau of Indian Standards
- Bureau of Indian Standards, the National Standards Body of India signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with 35 prestigious institutions across the country for fostering collaboration in standardization and conformity assessment.
- BIS is a statutory body functioning under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.
- It operates various schemes like Product Certification (ISI mark), Management Systems Certification, Hall Marking of Gold and Silver Jewellery/Artefacts and Laboratory Services for the benefit of the industry and in turn aiming at consumer protection.
- Union Finance Minister visited Adichanallur, an ancient and historical Iron-age burial site located in Thoothukudi District Tamil Nadu,set along the banks of the Tamirabarani (Porunai) river.
- This archaeological site was one of five declared to be developed as ‘Iconic Sites’ in the Union Budget 2020-21.
- On the occasion, the Union Finance Minister also laid the foundation stone for the ‘Iconic Site Museum’ at the Adichanallur site.
- Other proposed Iconic sites – Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Sivasagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat
- Numerous heritage sites, including the Somnath, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, and more, have been revitalised. In line with this, several tourism circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, such as the Buddhist Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, and Himalayan Circuit, are being established to promote tourism and bring due recognition to these places.
- Ongoing development of five sites, known as ‘Panchtheerth’ – It is based on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s life
- Amedbkar’s birthplace in Mhow
- The place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK
- Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur, where he took education
- Mahaparinirvan Sthal in Delhi
- Chaitya Bhoomi in Mumbai.
Know! about Dr. Ambedkar
- B.R. Ambedkar was born on 14 April 1891 in Mhow, Central Province (now Madhya Pradesh).
- He was India’s first Law Minister and was Chairman of the Drafting Committee for the new Constitution.
- He played an important role in framing the Indian Constitution
Contributions in Freedom Struggle
- Mahad Satyagraha was led by B. R Ambedkar in 1927 to allow the untouchables to use water in a public tank in Mahad, Maharashtra.
- He participated in all three round-table conferences.
- In 1932, Ambedkar agreed on Poona pact with Mahatma Gandhi and an agreement was signed between Ambedkar and Madan Mohan Malviya which abandoned the idea of separate electorates for the depressed classes(Communal Award).
- In 1939, during the Second World War, he called upon Indians to join the Army in large numbers to defeat Nazism, which he said, was another name for Fascism.
Organisations formed by Dr. Ambedkar
- Bahishkrit Hitkarini Sabha (1923),
- Independent Labor Party (1936),
- Scheduled Castes Federation (1942)
- On October 14, 1956 he embraced Buddhism along with many of his followers. The same year he completed his last writing ‘Buddha and His Dharma’.
- In 1990, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, was bestowed with Bharat Ratna.
- The period from 14th April 1990 – 14th April 1991 was observed as ‘Year of Social Justice’ in the memory of Babasaheb.
- Dr. Ambedkar Foundation was established by the Government of India under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on March 24, 1992 as a registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- The main objective of the foundation is to oversee the implementation of programmes and activities for furthering the ideology and message of Babasaheb Dr. B. R. Ambedkar among the masses in India as well as abroad.
- Annihilation of Caste,
- Buddha Or Karl Marx,
- Buddha and His Dhamma,
- Who were the Shudras,
- The Rise and Fall of Hindu Women among others.
- Bahishkrit Bharat,
- Equality Janata among others.
Anusandhan National Research Foundation
- Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha to establish the Anusandhan National Research Foundation.
National Research Foundation (NRF) – Highlights
- Objective – It will provide high level strategic direction for research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the fields of natural sciences including mathematical sciences, engineering and technology, environmental and earth sciences, health and agriculture.
- It will also promote scientific and technological interfaces of humanities and social sciences to promote, monitor and provide support as required for such research and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- On 28th June, 2023 the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the introduction of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Bill, 2023 in the Parliament.
- The approved Bill will pave the way to establish NRF that will seed, grow and promote Research and Development (R&D) and foster a culture of research and innovation throughout India’s universities, colleges, research institutions, and R&D laboratories.
- The bill, after approval in the Parliament, will establish NRF, an apex body to provide high-level strategic direction of scientific research in the country as per recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP), at a total estimated cost of Rs. 50,000 crores during five years (2023-28).
- The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will be the administrative Department of NRF which will be governed by a Governing Board consisting of eminent researchers and professionals across disciplines.
- Since the scope of the NRF is wide-ranging – impacting all ministries – the Prime Minister will be the ex-officio President of the Board and the Union Minister of Science & Technology & Union Minister of Education will be the ex-officio Vice-Presidents.
- NRF’s functioning will be governed by an Executive Council chaired by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.
- NRF will forge collaborations among the industry, academia, and government departments and research institutions
- It will focus on creating a policy framework and putting in place regulatory processes that can encourage collaboration and increased spending by the industry on R&D.
- The bill will also repeal the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) established by an act of Parliament in 2008 and subsume it into NRF which has an expanded mandate and covers activities over and above the activities of SERB.
Indian Army Inducts Swathi Mk2 Radar For Mountain Surveillance
- The Indian Army inducted the lighter and more compact version of the indigenously developed Weapon Locating Radar (WLR-M) called “Swathi Mountains.”
- The Swathi Mountains WLR is an advanced electronically scanned phased array radar, specifically designed for operations in mountainous and high-altitude areas and was developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bengaluru.
Know! about Weapon Locating Radar
- The Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) stands as a critical asset for modern militaries, employing advanced signal processing techniques to autonomously detect and track hostile artillery, mortars, and rocket launchers.
- Notably, it even tracks friendly fire trajectories, enabling precise calculations for more accurate artillery strikes.
- The radar’s sophistication lies in its ability to detect and track small projectiles across the battlefield while factoring in environmental conditions for precise launch and impact point estimations.
- A hallmark of the WLR is its high mobility and swift deployment capabilities, allowing it to adapt to changing operational requirements efficiently.
- Ensuring effectiveness in hostile environments, the radar is designed with survivability and resistance to electronic warfare measures in mind.
- The WLR also acts as a potent friendly force multiplier by providing critical information on enemy weapon systems.
Swathi Plains vs. Swathi Mountains
- The Swathi radar comes in two versions: the Swathi Plains (WLR) and the Swathi Mountains (WLR-M).
- The Swathi Plains version is primarily designed to locate hostile guns, mortars, and rockets, and it can also track the fall of shot from friendly weapons for corrective measures on flat terrains like Plains, as the name of the version suggests.
- On the other hand, the Swathi Mountains version, is a more compact and mobile version specifically designed for operations in mountainous and high-altitude terrains.
- The WLR-M, or Swathi Mountains, is capable of detecting mortar shells and rockets and tracking projectiles.
- It classifies projectile and non-projectile targets, rejecting unwanted signals like birds, clutter, and aircraft.
- Moreover, it offers trajectory estimation and launch/impact point extrapolation, automatically correcting for height to enhance accuracy.
- The radar system is equipped to store and display trajectory data and maintain communication with higher echelons for better coordination.
- In March 2020, India exported four Swathi Weapons Locating Radars to Armenia valued at $40 million.
Indian Mini Satellite-1
- ISRO has transferred the IMS-1 Satellite Bus Technology to Alpha Design Technologies Pvt. Ltd in a step towards enhancing private industry participation in the country’s space sector.
- NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO, facilitated the technology transfer through an agreement signed during an event held at the NSIL headquarters
- ADTL is one of the two private players identified to receive the transfer of this technology through Interest Exploratory Note (IEN) published by NSIL
Know! about Indian Mini Satellite-1
- It was developed by the UR Rao Satellite Centre of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- It is a small satellite platform designed to enable low-cost access to space.
- The IMS-1 bus weighs about 100 kilograms and can carry a 30-kilogram payload.
- The solar arrays onboard generate 330 watts of power.
- It comes with four reaction wheels with a 1 Newton thruster that is good for pointing accuracy with an accuracy threshold of 0.1 Degrees.
- It was used in previous ISRO missions like IMS-1, Youthsat and Microsat-2D.
- It would enable low cost access to space by providing dedicated platform for payloads for earth imaging, ocean and atmospheric studies, microwave remote sensing and space science missions with a quick turnaround time.
- In a significant development for agricultural technology, a revolutionary IoT-based automated soil testing and agronomy advisory platform, Bhu-Vision (also known as KRISHI-RASTAA Soil Testing System) was officially launched at AICRP (ICAR-IIRR), Hyderabad
- It has been jointly developed by ICAR-IIRR(Indian Council of Agricultural Research -Indian Institute of Rice Research) and KrishiTantra.
- This system seamlessly conducts 12 key soil parameter tests in just 30 minutes.
- It provides quick and accurate results directly to farmers and stakeholders through a soil health card on their mobile devices.
- The mainland clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is often likened to the Ice Age sabretooth because it has the largest canines in proportion to its skull size among all cat species.
- It also has rotating rear ankles that enable it to climb down head first from trees, unlike the other felines.
- The clouded leopard is categorised into two species: the mainland clouded leopard distributed from central Nepal to peninsular Malaysia, and the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi) native to Borneo and Sumatra.
- The mainland clouded leopard is tagged vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and is considered at high risk of extinction in the wild due to deforestation and poaching.
- The availability of small prey species and primary forests influenced clouded leopard habitat use significantly, highlighting the potential conservation importance of species such as hares, birds, porcupines, and primates,”
- They seemed to go wherever they pleased without worrying about other predators, primarily because of their ability to climb trees, even hang upside down from large branches.
India has started manufacturing 38 APIs in past 18 months
- Over the past eighteen months, India has commenced the production of 38 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that were previously reliant on imports
Know! about API
- Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are the active components in a pharmaceutical drug that produce the required effect on the body to treat a condition.
- APIs are produced by processing chemical compounds.
- For example, an active ingredient to relieve pain is included in a painkiller. This is called API.
- In a biologic drug, the active ingredient is known as a bulk process intermediate (BPI).
- APIs are the key active components that interact with specific receptors or target molecules in the body to bring about the desired physiological or therapeutic response
- All drugs are made up of two core components- Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) and excipients.
- Excipients are substances other than the drug that helps deliver the medication to your system.
Digital Portal of the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS)
- The digital portal of the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies (CRCS) office in Pune, Maharashtra has been launched by Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Minister Amit Shah.
Know! about CRCS
- The main objectives of computerization of the Central Registrar’s Office are Completely paperless application, Automatic compliance to Multi State Co-operative Societies Act (MSCS Act) and Rules, Ease of Doing Business, Digital communication and Transparent processing. This computerization project will prove helpful in new registration.
- 1555 multi-state cooperative societies of the country will be benefited by the portal launched and 42% of these 1555 societies are in Maharashtra only, this shows the strength of cooperative movement in Maharashtra.
- It will be helpful in the registration of new Multi-State Cooperative Societies, simplifying their operations and creating a more efficient and transparent digital ecosystem.
- The digital portal will encompass various modules, including registration, amendment of bye-laws, annual return filing, appeal, audit, inspection, inquiry, arbitration, winding up, liquidation, ombudsman, and election.
Cabinet approves investment of ₹1.3 lakh crore in Bharat Net
- The Union Cabinet has approved an allotment of ₹1,39,579 crore for the next phase of Bharat Net to make 5G network available to remote areas of the country
- With this the government is planning to reach 6.4 lakh villages within the next two years from the current 1.94 lakh connected villages under the Bharat Net Udyami Yojana
Know! about BharatNet Project
- The Bharat Net project, executed by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) consisting of Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) merger, completed a pilot project in eight months, covering 60,000 villages across four districts.
- The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), launched in October 2011, was renamed the Bharat Net Project in 2015.
- It is an ambitious project of the Government of India to provide broadband connectivity to all village panchayats in the country.
- It aims to provide affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on-demand capacity to all institutions to realize the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.
- The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India.
- To achieve this, the existing fibres of PSUs (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) were utilised and incremental fibre was laid to connect to Gram Panchayats wherever necessary.
- The entire project is being funded by the Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up to improve telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.
- The project is being executed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), namely Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), which was incorporated on 25.02.2012 under Indian Companies Act 1956.
Know! about Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
- It is a government fund established by the Government of India to provide financial support for the expansion of telecommunications and broadband services in rural and remote areas of the country.
- The primary objective of USOF is to bridge the digital divide and ensure that telecom and internet services are accessible to all, especially in areas where private telecom operators may find it economically unviable to operate due to high infrastructure costs and low population density.
- The USOF is funded through a levy on the revenue earned by telecom operators.
- The government imposes a Universal Service Levy (USL) on the gross revenue of the telecom companies, which is a percentage of their Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).
- This levy is collected and deposited into the USOF.
- The USOF is managed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications.
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards
- Following recent incidents of several countries reporting deaths allegedly linked to “contaminated” India-manufactured drugs, the government has set a deadline for mandatory implementation of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) which were revised in 2018, bringing them on par with World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
- Companies with a turnover of over Rs 250 crore will have to implement the revised GMP within six months, while medium and small-scale enterprises with turnover of less than Rs 250 crore will have to implement it within a year
Know! about! Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
- Good manufacturing practice (GMP) is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards.
- It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product.
- It covers all aspects of production; from the starting materials, premises and equipment to the training and personal hygiene of staff.
- The GMP system was first incorporated in India in 1988 in Schedule M of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, and the last amendment was done in June 2005. WHO-GMP standards are now part of the revised Schedule M.
- There are around 10,500 manufacturing units in India out of which around 8,500 falls under Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) category.
- The country has about 2,000 units in MSME category in the country having WHO-GMP certification.
Know! about the new regulations
- Companies with a turnover of over Rs 250 crore will have to implement the revised GMP within six months,
- Medium and small-scale enterprises with turnover of less than Rs 250 crore will have to implement it within a year
Iraq eliminates trachoma as a public health problem
- Iraq has now joined the league of 17 other countries that have eliminated trachoma, a neglected tropical disease and the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced recently.
- The country is also the 50th to be acknowledged by the United Nations health agency for eliminating at least one neglected tropical disease globally.
Know! about Trachoma
- Trachoma is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness and is one of the conditions known as neglected tropical diseases.
- Trachoma starts off as a bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and can be easily treated.
- Over time, it causes the eyelashes to be pushed inward into the eye. So with every blink, they brush against the eyeball.
- This advanced form of trachoma is called trichiasis. Over time, if it’s not treated, trichiasis can lead to blindness.
- The disease thrives where there are water shortages, poor sanitation and infestations of flies, which are considered physical vectors of the disease.
- To eliminate trachoma as a public health problem, WHO recommends the SAFE strategy, a comprehensive approach to reduce transmission of the causative organism, clear existing infections and deal with their effects.
- The SAFE strategy includes: Surgery to treat the blinding stage (trachomatous trichiasis); Antibiotics to clear the infection, particularly the antibiotic azithromycin; Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement, particularly improving access to water and sanitation.
- The 17 other countries that have eliminated trachoma are: Benin, Cambodia, China, Gambia, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Togo and Vanuatu.
Neglected tropical disease
- Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of 20 conditions1 that are mainly prevalent in tropical areas, where they mostly affect impoverished communities and disproportionately affect women and children.
- These diseases cause devastating health, social and economic consequences to more than one billion people.
- The epidemiology of NTDs is complex and often related to environmental conditions.
- Many of them are vector-borne, have animal reservoirs and are associated with complex life cycles.
India launches ‘Neerakshi’ – Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for mine detection
- An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) designed to detect mines and a first of its kind in the country was launched
Know! about Neerakshi
- The AUV named ‘Neerakshi’ is a collaboration of Kolkata-based warshipmaker Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd and MSME entity Aerospace Engineering Private Ltd (AEPL).
- The commercial launch of the AUV is likely to be within six months to a year after completion of user trials by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and possibly the Army too
- This can be used for a variety of functions ranging from mine detection to mine disposal to underwater survey
National Health Authority (NHA) extends its incentive scheme under Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM)
- The National Health Authority (NHA) announces extension of its Digital Health Incentives Scheme (DHIS) under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) till 31stDecember 2023.
- Under DHIS, incentives are provided to hospitals and diagnostic labs and to the providers of digital health solutions such as Hospital/ Health Management Information System (HMIS) and Laboratory Management Information System (LMIS) for adopting and enabling transformative digitization under ABDM.
- The DHIS was launched with effect from 1st January, 2023 as part of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
- The scheme proved to be a significant catalyst in promoting the adoption of digital health technologies and practices in healthcare delivery across the country.
- Owing to its impact and response from the healthcare providers and health tech companies, the scheme has been extended to allow more stakeholders to benefit from the financial incentives.
- Under the DHIS, the eligible health facilities and digital solutions companies shall be able to earn financial incentives of up to Rs. 4 crores based on the number of digital health records created and linked to ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) numbers of the patients.
Know! about National Health Authority (NHA)
- It is the apex body responsible for implementing AB PM-JAY.
- It has been entrusted with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure and implementation of “National Digital Health Mission ” to create a National Digital Health Eco-system.
- It is the successor of the National Health Agency, which has been functioning as a registered society since 2018. Pursuant to Cabinet decision for full functional autonomy, National Health Agency was reconstituted as the National Health Authority in January 2019.
- An attached office of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with full functional autonomy, NHA is governed by a Governing Board chaired by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare.
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