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Daily Current Affairs : 26-Mar-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. MASS NESTING OF OLIVE RIDLEY TURTLES

  2. G20 VIRTUAL SUMMIT

  3. NPR AND CENSUS 2021 POSTPONED

  4. #STAYHOMEINDIAWITHBOOKS INITIATIVE

  5. RADIATION THERAPY

  6. IMPROVING THE FUEL EFFICIENCY OF INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES

  7. GLACIERS IN SIKKIM ARE LOSING MASS FASTER THAN OTHER PARTS OF THE HIMALAYA



MASS NESTING OF OLIVE RIDLEY TURTLES


Why in news?

Restrictions in place for the COVID-19 threat are saving lakhs of Olive Ridley turtles from possible disturbance by humans, especially tourists, while they are continuing mass nesting at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery.


Highlights:

  1. IUCN Status – Vulnerable

  2. Threats –

  3. Residential and Commercial development.

  4. Agriculture and Aquaculture

  5. Biological resource use.

  6. Human Intrusion and Disturbances

  7. Pollution

  8. Climate change and severe weather.

  9. They are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada.

  10. The enormous number of Olive ridleys nest in Odisha (namely at three river mouths: Dhamara, Devi and Rushikulya) in India.


Source : Hindu and IUCN



G20 VIRTUAL SUMMIT

Why in news?

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi shall participate in G20 virtual summit today to discuss on the issues related to Corona virus. 


Highlights:

  • Saudi Arabia's King Salman will chair the emergency virtual summit of G20 leader.

  • Several top international organisations such as the UN, the World Bank, the WHO, the World Trade Organisation, the IMF and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will also participate in the summit titled 'G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders' Summit on COVID-19'. 

  • Regional organisations will be represented by Vietnam the Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Africa the Chair of the African Union (AU), the United Arab Emirates the Chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Rwanda the Chair of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).


Source : Hindu and The Economic Times



NPR AND CENSUS 2021 POSTPONED

Why in news?

  • The first phase of Census 2021 and updation of NPR, which was to begin on various dates decided by the State/UT governments beginning 1st April 2020 and various related field activities, are postponed until further orders.


Highlights:

  • The Census 2021 was scheduled to be conducted in two phases, viz.,

  • Phase I - House listing & Housing Census during April-September, 2020 and

  • Phase II - Population Enumeration during 9th to 28th February, 2021.

  • The updation of NPR was also proposed to be done along with the Phase I of Census 2021 in all the States/UTs, except Assam.

  • Due to the outbreak ofCOVID-19 pandemic, high alert has been declared by the Government of India as well as the States/Union Territories. 


Source : PIB



#STAYHOMEINDIAWITHBOOKS INITIATIVE

Why in news?

  • In the wake of Preventive Measures of the Government of India to contain the spread of Covid-19, and to encourage people to #StayIn and #StayHome, the National Book Trust of HRD Ministry, in its efforts to encourage people to read books while at home, is providing its select and best-selling titles for FREE Download as part of its initiative of #StayHomeIndiaWithBooks!


Highlights:

  • The 100+ books, in PDF format, can be downloaded from the NBT's website https://nbtindia.gov.in

  • Available in Hindi, English, Asamiya, Bangla, Guajarati, Malayalam, Odia, Marathi, Kokborok, Mizo, Bodo, Nepali, Tamil, Punjabi, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu and Sanskrit, the books cover all genres of fiction, biography, popular science, teacher's handbook, and majorly books for children and young adults.

  • There are books by Tagore, by Premchand, and books on Mahatma Gandhi. More titles will be added to the list.

  • Some select titles include, Holidays Have Come, Animals You can't Forget, Nine Little Birds, The Puzzle, Gandhi Tatva Satkam, Women Scientists in India, Activity-Based Learning Science, A Touch of Glass, Gandhi: Warrior of Non-Violence, and many more.

  • The PDFs are for reading only, and any unauthorized or commercial use is not allowed.


Source : PIB



RADIATION THERAPY

Why in news?

  • IIT Bombay INSPIRE fellow developing quantum chemistry based software useful for radiation therapy.


Highlights:

  • Dr. Achintya Kumar Dutta from IIT Bombay along with his research group is working to develop new methods for quantum chemistry and implement them in efficient and free software to study electron attachment to aqueous DNA which has big implications in radiation therapy-based treatment of cancer.

  • Quantum chemistry is one of the new branches of chemistry which tries to understand the chemical properties of atoms and molecules without performing a lab experiment. Instead, in quantum chemistry, the Scientists try to solve the Schrödinger equation for the molecules, and it gives every measurable quantity about that particular molecule, without actually doing the measurement.

  • This study can help in the development of a new class of radio-sensitizers, which makes tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy and thereby protects the normal cells.

  • Computational modeling can greatly reduce the development cost of new radio-sensitizers, both in terms of money and time.


Source : PIB



IMPROVING THE FUEL EFFICIENCY OF INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES

Why in news?

  • International Advanced Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous R&D Centre of Department of Science and Technology (DST), has developed ultrafast laser surface texturing technology, which can improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines. 


Highlights:

  • Laser surface micro-texturing, which offers precise control of the size, shape and density of micro-surface texture features has gained momentum as a way to control friction and wear.

  • In this technology, a pulsating laser beam creates micro-dimples or grooves on the surface of materials in a very controlled manner.

  • Such textures can trap wear debris when operating under dry sliding conditions and sometimes provide effects like enhancing oil supply (lubricant reservoir) which can lower friction coefficients and may enable reduced wear rate.

  • Ultrafast lasers create micro or nano features without vacuum conditions. 


Source : PIB



GLACIERS IN SIKKIM ARE LOSING MASS FASTER THAN OTHER PARTS OF THE HIMALAYA

Why in news?

  • Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun an autonomous research institute for the study of Geology of the Himalaya under the Department of Science and Technology, have found that glaciers in Sikkim are melting at a higher magnitude as compared to other Himalayan regions. 


Highlights:

  • Compared to other Himalayan regions, the magnitude of dimensional changes and debris growth are higher in the Sikkim.

  • Contrary to the western and central Himalaya, where glaciers are reported to have slowed down in recent decades, the Sikkim glaciers have shown negligible deceleration after 2000. Summer temperature rise has been prime driver of glacier changes.

  • Accurate knowledge of magnitude as well as the direction of glacier changes, as highlighted in the present study, can lead to awareness among common people regarding water supplies and possible glacier hazards, particularly to those communities that are living in close proximity.

  • The study can provide ample baseline data on glacier changes and systematically explore the causal relationship between glacier parameters and various influencing factors.

  • A clear understanding of glacier state will help orienting future studies as well as taking necessary measures.    


Source : PIB


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