UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 11-May-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Sal forest tortoise habitat stretches over unprotected areas 

  2. Indigenous ELISA test

  3. DRDO lab develops automated UV systems to sanitise electronic gadgets, papers and currency notes  

  4. Pokhran II Anniversary

  5. African swine fever kills over 13,000 pigs in Assam

  6. TRIFED, AOL ink MoU to promote tribal enterprises


SAL FOREST TORTOISE HABITAT STRETCHES OVER UNPROTECTED AREAS

Why in news?

  • A recent study by ecologists in the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, finds that the area designated as a protected area network has only a small overlap with the actual habitat it roams around in. 


Highlights:

  • The sal forest tortoise is widely distributed over eastern and northern India and Southeast Asia. However, it is not common in any of this terrain.

  • In fact, 23 of the 29 species of freshwater turtle and tortoise species found in India come under the threatened category in the IUCN red list and are under severe existential threat due to human activities.

  • Also known as the elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata), the sal forest tortoise, recently assessed as critically endangered, is heavily hunted for food. It is collected both for local use, such as decorative masks, and international wildlife trade.

  • According to the IUCN the population of the species may have fallen by about 80% in the last three generations (90 years). 


Source : The Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/sal-forest-tortoise-habitat-stretches-over-unprotected-areas/article31544837.ece )


INDIGENOUS ELISA TEST

Why in news?

  • Indigenous ELISA test will be used to screen 30,000 samples from 75 COVID-19 hotspot districts.


Highlights:

  • The National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, has developed an immunological assay — enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) — to detect antibodies that the body develops in response to infection by the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus.

  • This is the first time India has developed an indigenous ELISA test for coronavirus. While ELISA tests for coronavirus are already available in other countries, procuring them in large numbers may be a challenge, particularly during a pandemic. In contrast, availability will be a non-issue when a locally developed test is manufactured in India.

  • The ELISA test developed by NIV gains significance as the rapid antibody tests imported from China were found to be unreliable and hence the States were instructed not to use them for detecting previous novel coronavirus infection.

  • Since the ELISA test is based on detection of antibodies, it can only help in knowing if the person has been previously infected by coronavirus.

  • Since it detects antibodies, even people who have remained symptom-free (asymptomatic) during the entire course of the infection will test positive.


Source : The Hindu ( https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/coronavirus-indias-national-institute-of-virology-develops-elisa-test-to-detect-antibodies/article31551219.ece )


DRDO LAB DEVELOPS AUTOMATED UV SYSTEMS TO SANITISE ELECTRONIC GADGETS, PAPERS AND CURRENCY NOTES  

Why in news?

  • Hyderabad based Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) premier lab, Research Centre Imarat (RCI), has developed an automated contactless UVC sanitisation cabinet, called Defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS).


Highlights:

  • It has been designed to sanitise mobile phones, iPads, laptops, currency notes, cheque leafs, challans, passbooks, paper, envelopes, etc. 

  • The DRUVS cabinet is having contactless operation which is very important to contain the spread of virus.

  • The proximity sensor switches, clubbed with drawer opening and closing mechanism, makes its operation automatic and contactless.

  • It provides 360 degree exposure of UVC to the objects placed inside the cabinet. Once the sanitisation is done, the system goes in sleep mode hence the operator need not wait or stand near the device.

  • The RCI has also developed an automated UVC currency sanitising device, called NOTESCLEAN. Bundles of currency notes can be sanitised using DRUVS, however disinfection of each currency notes using it will be a time consuming process.


Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1622692 )

POKHRAN – II ANNIVERSARY

Why in news?

  • On the 22nd anniversary of Pokhran II nuclear tests, Prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday recalled the determined leadership of then prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee that helped the country come out of the nuclear closet.


Highlights:

  • Paying tributes to India’s scientific community, the prime minister added that the way the tests were conducted in secrecy, undetected by US satellites, was to the credit of Indian scientists.

  • Marking its entry into the nuclear club, India, on 11-13 May, 1998, tested five nuclear devices at the Indian Army's Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan.

  • National Technology Day is observed every year on May 11.

  • India had cited the threat from China for going nuclear but the key countries mainly the US and it’s allies imposed punitive sanctions on India that were far more crippling than the ones imposed in the aftermath of the 1974 test.

  • The sanctions were later lifted in 2001. India and the US later went on to sign the civil nuclear cooperation agreement that overturned 34 years of the nuclear pariah status for India and brought the country into the web of global nuclear commerce.


Source : Livemint ( https://www.livemint.com/news/india/on-pokhran-ii-anniversary-modi-recalls-vajpayee-s-strong-political-leadership-11589168647541.html )



AFRICAN SWINE FEVER KILLS OVER 13,000 PIGS IN ASSAM

Why in news?

  • The outbreak of African swine fever (AFS) has claimed more than 13,000 pigs in the last few days in parts of Assam, affecting the livelihood of hundreds of people involved in the animal husbandry in the state, an official said.


Highlights:

  • The infection has spread rapidly as the deaths have been reported from nine districts in Assam.

  • The infection has spread from six districts to three more, namely Majuli, Golaghat and Kamrup Metropolitan.

  • The outbreak of the disease was initially detected in Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Biswanath districts.

About African Swine Fever :

  • African swine fever virus is a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family. It is the causative agent of African swine fever.

  • The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs; some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.

  • The disease can be spread directly through contact. It can also be spread indirectly through feeding infected pig meat and /or pork products, species of soft tick in some regions and possibly blood sucking flies or insects and through contaminated objects (fomites) such as vehicles, clothes, equipment etc.

  • It does not cause disease in humans.

  • ASFV is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and exists in the wild through a cycle of

  • infection between ticks and wild pigs, bushpigs, and warthogs.


Source : Livemint ( https://www.livemint.com/news/india/african-swine-fever-kills-over-13-000-pigs-in-assam-11589118170120.html )


TRIFED, AOL INK MOU TO PROMOTE TRIBAL ENTERPRISES

Why in news?

  • Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India, TRIFED under Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Art Of Living, AOL Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in programmes of each organisation for promoting Tribal Enterprises.


Highlights:

  • The Art of Living Foundation has agreed to provide Free Ration Kits to Needy Tribes India Artisans.

  • TRIFED Regional Offices have compiled the list of needy tribal artisans and have identified 9,409 needy tribal artisans located across the country for distribution of ration kits under

About TRIFED :

  • The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) came into existence in 1987.

  • It is a national-level apex organization functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India.

  • TRIFED has its registered and Head Office located in New Delhi and has a network of 13 Regional Offices located at various places in the country.


Source : NewsonAir ( http://newsonair.com/News?title=TRIFED%2c-AOL-ink-MoU-to-promote-tribal-enterprises&id=388063 )


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