Daily Current Affairs : 08-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. KNOW YOUR ‘UNPARLIAMENTARY’ EXPRESSION

  2. KAKA HATHRASI

  3. “REMDESIVIR” THE DRUG A CHINA COLLEGE WANTS TO PATENT

  4. BUYING OF PALM OIL FROM MALAYSIA

  5. EASE OF LIVING INDEX AND MUNICIPAL PERFORMANCE INDEX 2019 LAUNCHED

  6. DefExpo WITNESSES SIGNING OF OVER 200 MOUS, TOTS AND PRODUCT LAUNCHES

  7. ARMY GETS UPGRADED 155MM ARTILLERY GUN AT DEFEXPO

  8. WHY CANCER GENE MAP MATTERS?

  9. KERALA’S BAN ON CFL


KNOW YOUR ‘UNPARLIAMENTARY’ EXPRESSION

Why in news?

  • Two days of heated exchanges in Parliament have brought back recurring questions around “unparliamentary” speech and conduct.


Highlights:

  • Whatever an MP says is subject to the discipline of the Rules of Parliament, the “good sense” of Members, and the control of proceedings by the Speaker.

  • These checks ensure that MPs cannot use “defamatory or indecent or undignified or unparliamentary words” inside the House.

  • Article 105(2) of the Constitution lays down that “no Member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof.”

  • But MPs do not enjoy the freedom to say whatever they want inside the House. Whatever an MP says is subject to the discipline of the Rules of Parliament.

  • Rule 380 (“Expunction”) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha says: “If the Speaker is of opinion that words have been used in debate which are defamatory or indecent or unparliamentary or undignified, the Speaker may, while exercising discretion order that such words be expunged from the proceedings of the House.”

  • Rule 381 says: “The portion of the proceedings of the House so expunged shall be marked by asterisks and an explanatory footnote shall be inserted in the proceedings as follows: ‘Expunged as ordered by the Chair’.”

  • For their reference and help, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has brought out a book titled ‘Unparliamentary Expressions.’

  • The list contains several words and expressions that would be considered rude or offensive.

Source: Indian Express



KAKA HATHRASI

Why in news?

  • Replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in Rajya Sabha on Thursday (February 6), Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoted Hindi poet Kaka Hathrasi to chide the Opposition for its “stagnation” and “unwillingness to move forward”.


Highlights:

  • Kaka Hathrasi is counted among the foremost poets of ‘haasya’ (humour) and ‘vyanga’ (satire) in Hindi literature.

  • Born Prabhulal Garg on September 18, 1906 (he died on September 18, 1995), he took the name ‘Kaka Hathrasi’ based on his hometown, Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, and on the popular character of a ‘Kaka’ (uncle) he had essayed in a play.

  • Apart from humour, he wrote on classical dance and music under the pen name ‘Vasant’. Kaka Hathrasi was also an accomplished painter.

  • In 1932, Kaka Hathrasi started Garg and Co., a publishing house dedicated to making Indian classical music and dance more accessible to the people. This was later renamed Sangeet Karyalaya, which is still active.

  • Born Prabhulal Garg , he took the name ‘Kaka Hathrasi’ based on his hometown, Hathras in Uttar Pradesh.

  • Hathrasi was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1985 for his contributions to Hindi literature.

Source: Indian Express



“REMDESIVIR” THE DRUG A CHINA COLLEGE WANTS TO PATENT

Why in news?

  • The Wuhan Institute of Virology, China Academy of Sciences, has filed for a patent on Remdesivir, an antiviral experimental drug from US biotechnology firm Gilead Sciences, which may help treat the novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019).


Highlights:

  • Remdesivir is an experimental drug and has not yet been licensed or approved anywhere globally. It is currently being developed for the treatment of Ebola virus infection.

  • Scientists are also testing the drug chloroquine as part of a drug discovery approach, where existing antiviral medicines are tested to see if they are effective against a new infection.

  • Remdesivir has demonstrated in vivo (experimentation using a whole living organism) and in vitro (activity performed in a controlled environment) activity in animal models against viral pathogens that cause MERS and SARS. These two diseases are also caused by coronaviruses structurally similar to the nCoV-2019.

  • Even so, it is yet to be seen if Remdesivir can be effective against the novel coronavirus in humans.

  • As of now, there is no known treatment for the novel coronavirus, and an appropriate antiviral drug is required for this.

Source: Indian Express



BUYING OF PALM OIL FROM MALAYSIA

Why in news?

  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade has issued a Notification No. 39/2015-2020 dated8 th January 2020 amending the import policy of Refined Palm Oil (HS 15119010), Refined Palmolein (HS 15119020) and Other (HS 15119090) from ‘Free’ to ‘Restricted’.


Highlights:

  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade has issued a Notification dated 8th January 2020 amending the import policy of Refined Palm Oil (HS 15119010), Refined Palmolein (HS 15119020) and Other (HS 15119090) from ‘Free’ to ‘Restricted’.

  • India has cut import duty on crude palm oil (CPO) and refined, bleached and deodorised (RBD) palm oil, and also moved RBD oil from the “free” to the “restricted” list of imports.

  • This notification is applicable on import from all countries.

  • The import of RBD palm oil has been restricted, not banned — and this is from all countries, not just Malaysia.

Source: PIB



EASE OF LIVING INDEX AND MUNICIPAL PERFORMANCE INDEX 2019 LAUNCHED

Why in news?

  • To help assess the progress made in cities through various initiatives and empower them to use evidence to plan, implement & monitor their performance, two Assessment Frameworks, viz. Ease of LivingIndex (EoLI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2019 have been launched by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs.


Highlights:


Municipal Performance Index 2019:

  • Using it, the Ministry will assess the performance of municipalities based on 5 enablers namely Service, Finance, Planning, Technology and Governance.

  • These 5 enablers have been further divided into 20 sectors which will be evaluated across 100 indicators.


Ease of Living Index 2019:

  • EoLI 2019 will facilitate the assessment of ease of living of citizens across three pillars: Quality of Life, Economic Ability and Sustainability which are further divided into 14 categories across 50 indicators.

  • For the first time, as part of the Ease of Living Index Assessment, a Citizen Perception Survey is being conducted on behalf of the Ministry (which carries 30% of the marks of the Ease of Living Index).

Source: PIB



DefExpo WITNESSES SIGNING OF OVER 200 MOUS, TOTS AND PRODUCT LAUNCHES

Why in news?

  • Over 200 partnerships involving Signing of MoUs, Transfer of Technology (ToTs) , Product launches were concluded on the third day of DefExpo 2020, at ceremony tilted “Bandhan.”


Highlights:


Light Utility Helicopter (LUH):

  • The indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) crossed a milestone as it received the initial operational clearance (IOC) at the ongoing Defexpo.

  • LUH is a new generation helicopter in the 3-Ton class with glass cockpit for reconnaissance and surveillance roles.

  • LUH is designed and developed as a replacement for Cheetah & Chetak helicopters which are currently being operated by Indian Armed forces.


Amogha-3:

  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) launched Amogha-3, the anti-Tank Guided Missile. It is a man portable fire and forget missile.


Varunastra:

  • BDL also launched Varunastra – the anti-submarine torpedo, manufactured under the technological guidance of DRDO.

Source: PIB



ARMY GETS UPGRADED 155MM ARTILLERY GUN AT DEFEXPO

Why in news?

  • The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) on Friday handed over Sharang, the first 130mm M-46 artillery gun upgraded to 155mm to the Indian Army.


Highlights:

  • Sharang is the 130mm artillery gun ‘up-gunned’ to 155mm, 45 calibre up-gunning based on the Army’s tender.

  • The gun’s range has now gone from 27 km to over 36 km with the upgrade. It also has more explosive capability and hence and more damage potential. In all, OFB will upgrade 300 130mm guns to 155mm and the contract will be completed in four years.

Source: The Hindu



WHY CANCER GENE MAP MATTERS?

Why in news?

  • A series of new papers in the journal Nature has revealed the most comprehensive gene map ever of the genes whose departures from normal behaviour — mutations — trigger a cascade of genetic misbehaviours that eventually lead to cancer.


Highlights:

  • It is a major international collaboration called the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG), in which researchers has published a series of papers after analysing 2,658 whole-cancer genomes and their matching normal tissues across 38 tumour types.

  • They have concluded that “On average, cancer genomes contained 4-5 driver mutations when combining coding and non-coding genomic elements; however, in around 5% of cases no drivers were identified, suggesting that cancer driver discovery is not yet complete.”

  • This is the largest genome study ever of primary cancer. Various kinds of cancers required to be studied separately because cancers of different parts of the body often behave very differently from one another; so much so that it is often said that cancer is not one disease but many.

  • Previous studies had focused on the 1 per cent of the genome those codes for proteins. The Pan-Cancer Project explored, in considerably greater detail, the remaining 99 per cent of the genome, including key regions that control switching genes on and off.

Source: Indian Express



KERALA’S BAN ON CFL

Why in news?

  • Kerala Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac Friday made a bold announcement that the state will impose a ban on the sale of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and incandescent (filament) bulbs starting November this year as part of sustainable energy policy.


Highlights:

  • He also added that streetlights and bulbs in government offices across the state will be converted to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

  • The announcement is in line with the government project of ‘Filament-free Kerala’ envisaged in 2018 as part of the state’s Urja Kerala mission.

  • In 2019, Peelikode in Kasaragod district became the first panchayat in the country to be completely filament-free.

  • LED bulbs are energy-efficient than filament or CFL bulbs and will, therefore, generate less waste. Also, filament bulbs contain the mercury element which, when broken, is polluting in nature.

  • In his budget speech, the finance minister said nearly 2.5 crore LED bulbs have been produced on a mass scale in the state for public consumption.

Source: Indian Express


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