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06 January 2021: Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Exam

1) PM delivers inaugural address at National Metrology Conclave

GS 3: Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology

CONTEXT:

  1. Prime Minister has inaugurated the National Metrology Conclave 2021.
  2. He also laid the foundation stone of National Environmental Standards Laboratory through a video conference.
  3. National Atomic Time Scale and Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya Pranali were also dedicated to the nation.

ABOUT CONCLAVE:

  1. It was organised by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi, on its 75th year of inception.
  2. The theme of the conclave is ‘Metrology for the Inclusive Growth of the Nation’.

Metrology is defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) as "the science of measurement, embracing both experimental and theoretical determinations at any level of uncertainty in any field of science and technology".

 

BHARTIYA NIRDESHAK DRAVYA PRANALI (BND):

  1. It would help the industry to make quality products in every manufacturing and consumer sector like Heavy metals, Pesticides, Pharma and Textiles by  providing SI traceable measurements  and drafting a 'Certified Reference Material System'.
  2. These are Indian reference materials developed by CSIR-NPL.
  3. It will boost the “Make in India” program and harmonize the quality infrastructure of the country.

NATIONAL ATOMIC TIME SCALE:

  1. It generates Indian Standard Time with an accuracy of 2.8 nanoseconds.
  2. This will help organizations like Indian Space Research Organisation who are working with cutting edge technology. Banking, railways, defense, health, telecom, weather forecast, disaster management , Industry4.0 and many similar sectors will also be benefited.

COUNCIL OF SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH–NATIONAL PHYSICAL LABORATORY (CSIR–NPL)

  1. It is the measurement standards laboratory of India. It maintains standards of SI units in India and calibrates the national standards of weights and measures.
  2. It is authorized (by an act of Parliament) to realize and maintain the Indian Standard Time (IST).
  3. It is strengthening the national timing infrastructure, where a very rough estimate shows an economic impact of more than 10% of GDP.
  4. ‘It is on a mission to synchronize all the clocks in the nation to IST for securing digital infrastructure and reducing cyber crime.

Source: PIB

 

2) Centre Starts Sagarmala Seaplane Services Project With Potential Airline Operators

GS 2: Government Policies & Interventions

GS 3: Issues Relating to Development

CONTEXT:

  1. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is starting the ambitious Project of Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS) with potential airline operators.

ABOUT:

  1. A seaplane is a fixed-wing aeroplane designed for taking off and landing on water.
  2. The project is being initiated under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators.
  3. The project execution and implementation would be through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL), which is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
  4. Airline operators will be invited to form a SPV with SDCL.
  5. The routes may be operated under the government’s subsidised ude desh ka aam nagrik (UDAN) scheme.

SIGNIFICANCE:

  1. The seaplanes services will provide a supplementary means of faster and comfortable transportation in India.
  2. It will provide infrastructure enhancements at the places of operations.
  3. It will provide air connectivity to various remote religious/tourist places.
  4. It will save travel time and stimulate localized short distance travelling especially in the hilly regions or across the rivers/lakes etc.
  5. It will generate employment opportunities.
  6. It will boost tourism for domestic and international holiday makers.

 

Source: Business World

 

3) Faceless tax scheme delivers 24,000 final orders

GS Preliminary: Economic Development

CONTEXT:

  1. The faceless tax assessment scheme of Government of India has managed to deliver about 24,000 final orders since August 2020.

ABOUT FACELESS TAX SCHEME:

  1. The introduction of scheme of faceless e-assessment was proposed by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2019.
  2. This scheme removes individual tax officials’ discretion and potential harassment for income tax payers.
  3. The main objective is to remove physical interaction as much as possible.
  4. It also allows for appropriate cases where a certain hearing is necessary, so then after following protocols, a hearing is given.

 

Source: The Hindu

 

4) Global Economy to Expand by 4% in 2021

GS 2: Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate

GS 3: Issues relating to growth, development

Preliminary: Economic & Social Development

CONTEXT:

  1. The World Bank highlighted in its January 2021 Global Economic Prospects that the global economy is expected to expand 4% in 2021 after shrinking 4.3% in 2020.
  2. Although global economic output is recovering from the collapse triggered by COVID-19, it will remain below pre-pandemic trends for a prolonged period. The pandemic has exacerbated the risks associated with a decade-long wave of global debt accumulation. It is also likely to steepen the long-expected slowdown in potential growth over the next decade.

HIGHLIGHTS OF REPORT:

  1. It also warned that rising COVID-19 infections and delays in vaccine distribution could limit the recovery to just 1.6% in 2021.
  2. The World Bank showed the collapse in activity due to the coronavirus pandemic was slightly less severe than previously forecast, but the recovery was also more subdued and still subject to considerable downside risk.
  3. With successful pandemic control and a faster vaccination process, global growth could accelerate to nearly 5%.
  4. Shallower contractions in advanced economies and a more robust recovery in China helped avert a bigger collapse in overall global output, but disruptions were more acute in most other emerging market and developing economies.
  5. Aggregate gross domestic product in emerging markets and developing economies - including China - is expected to grow 5% in 2021 after a contraction of 2.6% in 2020.
  6. Excluding China, emerging market and developing economies were seen expanding 3.4% in 2021 after shrinking 5% in 2020.
  7. Per capita incomes have dropped in 90% of emerging market and developing economies, tipping millions back into poverty, with reduced investor confidence, increasing unemployment and loss of education time seen dampening prospects for future poverty reduction.
  8. The crisis also triggered a surge in debt levels among emerging market and developing economies, with government debt up by 9 percentage points of GDP - the largest one-year spike since the late 1980s.

WAY AHEAD:

  1. The pandemic is expected to have long-lasting adverse effects on the global economy, worsening a slowdown that was already projected before the outbreak began, and the world could face a “decade of growth disappointments” unless comprehensive reforms were put in place.
  2. The global community needs to act rapidly and forcefully to make sure the latest wave of debt does not end with debt crises. Reductions in debt levels would be the only way for some countries to return to solvency.
  3. Making the right investments now is vital both to support the recovery when it is urgently needed and foster resilience.
  4. Response to the pandemic crisis today will shape our common future for years to come. World should seize the opportunity to lay the foundations for a durable, equitable, and sustainable global economy.

 

WORLD BANK

  1. The World Bank is like a cooperative, made up of 189 member countries.
  2. These member countries, or shareholders, are represented by a Board of Governors, who are the ultimate policymakers at the World Bank.
  3. Generally, the governors are member countries' ministers of finance or ministers of development.
  4. They meet once a year at the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.
  5. The World Bank Group works in every major area of development.  They provide a wide array of financial products and technical assistance, and help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face.

 

Source: World Bank

 

5) RBI operationalises PIDF scheme to boost digital payments

GS 3: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

Preliminary: Economic Development- Poverty, Inclusion

CONTEXT:

  1. The Reserve Bank operationalised Payments Infrastructure Development Fund to create 30 lakh new touch points every year for digital payments in Tier-3 to Tier-6 centres.

ABOUT:

  1. In June 2020, the RBI had announced the creation of Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).
  2. The fund intended to subsidise deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure like Points of Sale (PoS) machines in Tier-3 to Tier-6 centres, with special focus on the north-eastern states.
  3. The POS machines allow businesses to accept e-payments, thereby reducing the need to deal in cash.
  4. An Advisory Council (AC) has been constituted to govern the PIDF but it will be managed and administered by the RBI..
  5. It will be operational for a period of three years from January 01, 2021, and maybe extended for two more years, depending upon the progress.
  6. The objective of PIDF is to increase the number of acceptance devices multi-fold in the country. The Scheme is expected to benefit the acquiring banks/non-banks and merchants by lowering overall acceptance infrastructure cost.
  7. The fund is also in line with the measures proposed by the vision document on payment and settlement systems in India 2019-2021.

 

Source: Indian Express

 

6) ‘Recovery to bank on economic activities, increased mobility’

GS 3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development

CONTEXT:

  1. According to the Finance Ministry in its Monthly Economic Review for December 2020, post-vaccination, the resumption in economic activity and increased mobility are expected to lead towards a path of economic recovery in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT:

  1. The approval of the vaccine and initiation of vaccination drives in countries gives strength to optimism on both health and economic fronts despite continuing surge in global cases.
  2. The approval of the vaccines across the world has ignited optimism for economic recovery in 2021.
  3. So far, two vaccines – Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin – have been approved for emergency use while various other vaccines have successfully hit trial status in India.
  4. Prospects of faster recovery in emerging economies and potential growth prospects driven by vaccine availability have bolstered market sentiment.
  5. Vaccine prospects are also expected to boost oil demand in the country.
  6. The effective management of COVID-19 spread despite the festive season and onset of the winter season, combined with sustained improvement in high-frequency indicators and V-shaped recovery along with easing of lockdown restrictions distinguish Indian economy as one riding against the COVID-19 wave.
  7. The liquidity situation remains comfortable as the accumulation of dollars along with the growth of currency in circulation are enhancing liquidity in the banking system despite the average daily net absorptions by the RBI rising in December 2020, compared to the preceding month.

 

WHAT IS A “V-SHAPED” ECONOMIC RECOVERY?

  1. “V”— Historically, most recoveries have been V-shaped, with activity returning to pre-recession levels in the same or less time as the duration of the downturn.
  2. National lockdowns due to COVID-19 triggered a steep descent into recession, the re-opening of economies will occur much more gradually, precluding a sharp ascent during the recovery phase that characterises a V-shaped rebound.

 

Source: Indian Express

 

7) India lost $2.8 bn in 2020 to Internet shutdowns; over double of 20 others

GS 3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development

Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security

CONTEXT:

  1. According to a report by the UK-based privacy and security research firm Top10VPN, India suffered the biggest economic impact in the world in 2020 due to Internet shutdowns, adding up to 8,927 hours and $2.8 billion losses.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT:

  1. Actual economic impact for India may be even higher than the $2.8 billion figure — which itself was double the combined losses on account of Internet shutdowns in 2019 for the next 20 countries in the list, with businesses in 2020 anyway hit due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
  2. As in previous years, India continued to restrict Internet access more than any other country — over 75 times in 2020.
  3. The majority of these short blackouts were highly targeted, affecting groups of villages or individual city districts, and so were not included in this report, which focuses on larger region-wide shutdowns.
  4. The report made a separate mention of the extended curbs on Internet use in Kashmir, with suspension of services lasting from August 2019 to March 2020, and still availability of 2G access. It called it as “the longest Internet shutdown in a democracy”.
  5. The restrictions have negatively impacted the distribution of medicine, businesses and schools. According to the latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data, as of October 31, there were 11.70 million wireless subscribers in the J&K circle.
  6. While the economic impact due to Internet curbs surged in India in 2020, globally, at $4.01 billion, this came down by 50 per cent from 2019.
  7. India witnessed restrictions in J&K which accounted for the highest share of Internet blackouts in the country, but localised shutdowns were also seen in regions in Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya.
  8. The world saw 93 major shutdowns during the pandemic-stricken year. Apart from India, the report features Belarus, Myanmar, Yemen, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Tanzania, Venezuela and Somalia.
  9. Countries such as China and North Korea, which are known to restrict access to the Internet, are not in the list prepared by Top10VPN.

TOOLS USED BY Top10VPN

  1. To calculate the economic cost of Internet shutdowns, the firm used the “Cost of Shutdown Tool” from Netblocks and Internet Society, which uses the Brookings Institution Method.
  2. Regional shutdown costs were calculated by determining the region’s economic output as a proportion of its national gross domestic product.

WHAT IS INTERNET SHUTDOWN?

  1. The report defines an Internet shutdown as “an intentional disruption of Internet or electronic communications, rendering them inaccessible or effectively unusable, for a specific population or within a location, often to exert control over the flow of information”.
  2. Dependence on the Internet has increased and, therefore, when a shutdown happens, access to a number of essential services is restricted.
  3. During lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic in India, people lost employment, lawyers could not attend hearings, people who depended on online pharma stores could not order medicines and there were students who couldn’t attend online classes.
  4. There is no solid methodology for calculating the full impact of an Internet shutdown, because in India, the shutdowns are hyper-localised.

 

Source: Indian Express

 

8) On Nile, a Grand Dam divides African nations

GS 2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests

CONTEXT:

  1. Recently, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt agreed to resume negotiations to resolve their decade-long complex dispute over the Grand Renaissance Dam hydropower project in the Horn of Africa.
  2. Egypt and Sudan are concerned about the filling and the operation of the dam. Ethiopia continues to insist that the dam is required to meet the needs of its population and downstream water supplies will not be adversely affected.

WHAT IS THE DISPUTE ABOUT?

  1. The Nile, which is Africa’s longest river, has been at the center of a decade-long complex dispute involving Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt that are dependent on the river’s waters.
  2. It passes through 11 countries. The current distribution of its waters is limited to only two — Egypt and Sudan — under the 1959 Nile Agreement.
  3. The main waterways of the Nile run through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt, and its drainage basin runs through several countries in East Africa, including Ethiopia, the portion where Grand Renaissance Dam is being constructed.
  4. The Nile River has two main tributaries. The White Nile originates from the Nile equatorial lakes region and the source of the Blue Nile is from the highlands in Ethiopia.
  5. Grand Renaissance Dam hydropower project is 145-meter-tall (475-foot-tall) and Spearheaded by Ethiopia. When completed, it will be Africa’s largest dam.
  6. The construction of the dam was initiated in 2011 on the Blue Nile tributary of the river that runs across one part of Ethiopia.
  7. The Nile is a necessary water source in the region and Egypt has consistently objected to the dam’s construction, saying it will impact water flow.

WHY CAN THE DAM CAUSE CONFLICT?

  1. Ethiopia: Dam would allow it to gain control of the flow of the river’s waters. Ethiopia’s goal is to secure electricity for its population and to sustain and develop its growing manufacturing industry. Ethiopia may be hoping to sell surplus electricity to neighbouring nations like Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea and South Sudan, which also suffer from electricity shortages, to generate some revenue.
  2. Egypt: It lies further downstream and is concerned that Ethiopia’s control over the water could result in lower water levels within its own borders. Egypt had strongly objected since 2019 When Ethiopia had announced that it planned on generating power using two turbines. Egypt proposed a longer timeline for the project over concerns that the water level of the Nile could dramatically drop as the reservoir fills with water in the initial stages.
  3. Sudan: Its location between Egypt up north and Ethiopia down south has caused it to become an inadvertent party to this dispute. Sudan too is concerned that if Ethiopia were to gain control over the river, it would affect the water levels Sudan receives.

CONCLUSION:

  1. The Ethiopian dam project has the huge potential to be not only a massive source of hydropower production for energy-starved, under-developed Ethiopia, but it will also help to facilitate economic integration in the region.
  2. It has certainly created tension in the region but at the same time it has helped to break the centuries-old stalemate of Egyptian domination in the basin.
  3. An agreement over the filling and operation of the dam among Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan will build a strong foundation for the future transboundary water cooperation in the Nile basin.The Conversation

 

Source: Indian Express

 

9) To ‘educate students on cows’, govt to hold national cow science exam on Feb 25

GS 3: Economics of animal rearing

Preliminary: Economic Development

CONTEXT:

  1. The government is planning to conduct a nationwide voluntary online examination, Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Prachar-Prasar Pareeksha, on cow science to “infuse curiosity” among people about the importance of cows, and to “sensitise and educate” them about the bovine species.

ABOUT:

  1. The examination will be held on 25 February 2021.
  2. The exam will be conducted by Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA), an agency established for protection of cows under the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  3. The exam will be conducted in four categories: primary level (up to class VIII); for students between classes IX and XII; a third category for college and university students; and the fourth will be open to all, in which not only Indian citizens but anyone can appear.
  4. The examination will be based on multiple choice questions (MCQs), and students can take the one-hour exam on mobile phone or computer.

IMPORTANCE OF COWS:

  1. Cow provides us with milk, dung and urine. Milk is an important part of our diet and plays a key role in making us healthy.
  2. Cow urine is considered as an disinfectant, Cow dung is used in fields as manure and now in biogas plants. Thus through its products cow takes care of us like a mother and therefore hindus personify her as "gaumata".
  3. Also the mythological ties of Lord Krishna with Cow adds to her sacredness. Thus cow is closely connected with the religious sentiments of Hindus.
  4. Realizing this our constitution fathers carefully made provisions for cow and other mulch animals under Article 48 as part of Directive Principles of State Policy.

 

Source: Indian Express

 

10)Bombay High Court permits transgender to contest polls from women's category

GS 1: Social empowerment

GS 2: Separation of powers between various organs

CONTEXT:

  1. The Bombay High Court has allowed a transgender to contest village panchayat polls in women’s category, as such persons have the right to “self-perceived gender identity”.

ABOUT:

  1. Union government has introduced the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 and has permitted a transgender person to have a right to self-perceived gender identity.

PROVISIONS OF THE ACT

  1. It defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the gender assigned at birth. It includes transmen and trans-women, persons with intersex variations, gender-queers, and persons with socio-cultural identities, such as kinnar and hijra.
  2. It seeks to ensure the fundamental rights of those who do not conform to the binary notions of gender identity.
  3. It seeks to provide rights of health facilities to transgender persons including separate HIV surveillance centres, and sex reassignment surgeries.
  4. It states that the government shall review medical curriculum to address health issues of transgender persons, and provide comprehensive medical insurance schemes for them.
  5. It calls for establishing a National Council for Transgender persons (NCT).
  6. The Act is progressive in that it allows self perception of gender identity, but regresses by mandating that each person would have to be recognised as ‘transgender’ on the basis of a certificate of identity issued by a district magistrate, rejecting the recommendation from the 2016 Standing Committee to have a screening committee.

 

Source: The Hindu

 

11) Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates 450-km Kochi-Mangaluru natural gas pipeline

GS 3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment

CONTEXT:

  1. Prime Minister inaugurated the 450-km Kochi-Koottanad-Mangaluru LNG (liquified natural gas) pipeline. Moreover, 10,000 more CNG (compressed natural gas) stations would be opened and several lakh PNG (piped natural gas) household connections will be given to make India a natural gas-based economy

ABOUT:

  1. It has been built by GAIL (India) Ltd
  2. It has transportation capacity of 12 million standard cubic metres per day
  3. It will carry natural gas from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) regassification terminal at Kochi to Mangaluru
  4. Laying of the pipeline was an engineering challenge as the route of the pipeline necessitated it to cross water bodies at more than 100 locations. This was done through a special technique called horizontal directional drilling method.
  5. The pipeline will supply environment friendly and affordable fuel to  households, transportation sector and to commercial and industrial units across the districts along the pipeline.

SIGNIFICANCE:

  1. The facility was part of his government’s “one nation-one gas grid” policy.
  2. The new pipeline would have international importance, wherein the carbon footprint would get substantially reduced. It was a classic example of cooperative federalism between Centre and State like Kerala and Karnataka.
  3. It would pave the way for another wave of industrialisation of Kerala.

WAY AHEAD:

  1. The government has a concrete plan to move towards a gas-based economy that would be cheaper, convenient and environment-friendly.
  2. The government would make substantial investments in coal and gas sectors. The plan was to increase the share of natural gas in the energy sector from the present 6% to 15% by 2030.
  3. The government had definite plans for the future to make the country energy-sufficient and reduce expenditure on foreign exchange through diversification of energy requirement.
  4. Focus was being given to increase ethanol production so as to increase ethanol content in petrol to 20% from the present 5%.
  5. The world’s largest hybrid energy plant (wind and solar) was coming up in Gujarat. The electric mobility sector too was being encouraged. Through these, alternative, cheap and pollution-free fuel and energy would be made available to people.

 

Source: The Hindu

 

12) Govt launches ''Toycathon'' to make India global toy manufacturing hub

GS 3: Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.

CONTEXT:

  1. The government launched ''Toycathon'' -- a hackathon for students, teachers, experts and startups to crowdsource ideas for developing innovative toys and games based on Indian culture and ethos.
  2. The ministries of education; women and child development (WCD); textiles; commerce and industry; MSME; information and broadcasting; and the All India Council for Technical Education have jointly launched Toycathon-2021.

ABOUT:

  1. India imports most of its toys and the government is working towards promoting the indigenous toy industry for making the country self-reliant in the sector.
  2. The size of the toy market in India is about USD 1 billion but unfortunately 80 per cent of the toys are imported.
  3. The launch of Toycathon is an endeavour by the government to create an ecosystem for the domestic toy industry and the local manufacturers, tapping the untapped resources and utilising their potential.
  4. This Toycathon is aimed to conceptualize innovative toys based on the Indian value system which will inculcate the positive behaviour and good values among the children.
  5. The Toycathon is based on nine themes -- Indian culture, history, knowledge of India and ethos; learning, education and schooling; social and human values; occupations and specific fields; environment; divyang ; fitness and sport; out-of-the-box, creative and logical thinking and rediscovering traditional Indian toys.
  6. The Toycathon will have three levels -- junior, senior and startup.

SIGNIFICANCE:

  1. While this will greatly help India develop into a global hub for toys and games, it will also help our children to understand the ethos and values of Indian culture as envisaged in the National Education Policy 2020.
  2. National Education Policy-2020 also lays emphasis on innovation and research in learning, starting from primary education.
  3. Aligned with the goals of National Education Policy, the Toycathon aims to capture innovative prowess of 33 crore students across the country.
  4. The collaboration with the Ministry of Education paves the way for the participation of students, faculties from all schools, colleges and universities with regards to needs of the MSME industry.
  5. This is the first time when school children will innovate, design and conceptualise toys also for specially-abled ''divyang children''.

CONCLUSION:

  1. This is the high time to utilise brightest creative minds and carve out games based on our Indian culture, tradition and heritage and stories of ancient India showcasing the beliefs and traditions of people.

Source: The Hindu

 

13) Status of Avian Influenza in the country

GS 2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

GS 3: Bio diversity, Environment

CONTEXT:

  1. After confirmation of positive samples from ICAR-NIHSAD, Avian Influenza (AI)  has been reported from the following States (at 12 epicentres) –
  1. Rajasthan (crow) – Baran, Kota, Jhalawar
  2. Madhya Pradesh (crow) – Mandsaur, Indore, Malwa
  3. Himachal Pradesh (migratory birds) - Kangra
  4. Kerala (poultry-duck) -  Kottayam, Allapuzha (4 epicentres)

ABOUT:

  1. Avian Influenza (AI) viruses have been circulating worldwide for centuries with four known major outbreaks recorded in the last century.
  2. India notified the first outbreak of avian influenza in 2006.  Infection in humans is not yet reported in India though the disease is zoonotic.
  3. There is no direct evidence that AI viruses can be transmitted to humans via the consumption of contaminated poultry products.
  4. In India, the disease spreads mainly by migratory birds coming into India during winter months i.e. from September – October to February – March. The secondary spread by human handling (through fomites) cannot be ruled out.

STEPS TAKEN:

  1. In view of a threat of global outbreak of AI, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD), Government of India had prepared an action plan in 2005 which was revised in 2006, 2012 , 2015 and 2021 for guidance of State Government for prevention, control and containment of Avian Influenza in the Country.
  2. Periodic advisories have been issued to all states/UTs before commencement of winter for keeping necessary vigil, enhancing surveillance, keeping strategic reserves of supplies (PPE kits, etc.), preparedness to handle eventualities

STEPS TO BE TAKEN:

  1. Implementing management practices that incorporate bio security principles, personal hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection protocols, as well as cooking and processing standards, are effective means of controlling the spread of the AI viruses.
  2. Strengthening the biosecurity of poultry farms, disinfection of affected areas, proper disposal of dead birds/carcasses, timely collection and submission of samples for confirmation and further surveillance, intensification of surveillance plan as well as the general guidelines for prevention of disease spread from affected birds to poultry and human are major suggestions.
  3. Coordination with forest department for reporting any unusual mortality of birds was also suggested to the States.
  4. The other states were also requested to keep a vigil on any unusual mortality amongst birds and to report immediately to take necessary measures.

Source: PIB

 

 

14) CEPI Centralized network lab at DBT-THSTI Faridabad

GS Preliminary: General Science

GS 3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life

CONTEXT:

  1. The Ministry for Science & Technology, Health & Family Welfare and Earth Sciences inaugurated one of the seven labs of the world called as the centralized network lab of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) established at Translational Health Science & Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad.

ABOUT:

  1. THSTI is an institute of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). This is the only laboratory of such kind in India and is also accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
  2. The CEPI laboratory will be a great addition to the ability of THSTI to enhance quality of services towards making the vaccine and its acceptability at Global level.
  3. CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organizations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics.
  4. The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India is implementing the Ind-CEPI mission titled ‘India Centric Epidemic Preparedness through Rapid Vaccine Development: Supporting Indian Vaccine Development Aligned with the Global Initiative of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)’.
  5. Ind-CEPI Mission aims to strengthen the development of vaccines for the diseases of epidemic potential in India as well as build coordinated preparedness in the Indian public health system and vaccine industry to address existing and emergent infectious threats in India.
  6. The major focus at present is to help evaluating new Covid-19 vaccines, using standard analysis and same reagents in all labs so that vaccine produced has global acceptance and repeatability of the results, for global use.

Source: PIB