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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 15-May-2020

Updated: May 18, 2020

Topic Covered :

  1. NIPERs playing proactive role in Fight against COVID-19

  2. COBAS 6800 


  4. Gujarat to pilot sensor-based service delivery monitoring system in rural drinking water sector under Jal Jeevan Mission

  5. Coronavirus lockdown | NHRC issues notices to States

  6. Three new species of fishes found in Western Ghats


Why in news?

  • A large number of multi-faceted research proposals have been submitted by various National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs), towards the containment, identification and treatment of COVID-19 to relevant agencies for approval. 


The key themes of these proposals include :

  • Design of protease targeting COVID-19 antiviral agents (NIPER-Mohali),

  • Computationally guided drug-repurposing using the FDA approved drug-database (NIPER-Mohali and Raebareli),

  • Analysis of pro-drug to drug conversion of Remdesvir (NIPER, Mohali),

  • Adjuvant-therapy based nasal spray for ailing patients (NIPER-Hyderabad),

  • Quantum-dot based and conductivity based biosensor development for rapid COVID-19 (NIPER-Ahmedabad) testing, and

  • an interesting study about the control of strokes incidence during Covid-19.

  • NIPER-Raebareli has also initiated a mega project with IIT and an industrial partner in the development of new immuno-booster formulation utilizing traditionally used shrubs.

  • NIPER Kolkata is working on an indigenous cost effective ICU VENTILATOR in collaboration with CSIR CECRI and a private manufacturer.

About NIPER :

  • National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs) are the institutes of national importance under the aegis of the Department of Pharmaceutical, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

  • The seven institutes are functional at Ahmadabad, Hyderabad, Hajipur, Kolkata, Guwahati, Mohali, and Raebareli.

Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1623944 )

COBAS 6800

  • Why in news? Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare visited the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and dedicated the COBAS 6800 testing machine to the nation.


  • This is the first such testing machine that has been procured by the Government for testing of COVID-19 cases and is installed at the National Centre for Disease Control.

  • It is a fully automated, high end machine for performing real time PCR testing COVID-19.

  • COBAS 6800 will provide quality, high-volume testing with a high throughput of test around 1200 samples in 24 hours. It will largely increase the testing capacity with reduction in pendency.

  • COBAS 6800 is a sophisticated machine enabled with robotics that minimizes the chance of contamination as well as the risk of infection to the health care workers since it can be operated remotely with limited human intervention. 

  • COBAS 6800 can also detect other pathogens like Viral Hepatitis B & C, HIV, MTb (both rifampicin and isoniazide resistance), Papilloma, CMV, Chlamydia, Neiserreia etc.

About NCDC :

  • Earlier it was known as National Institute of Communicable disease.

  • The Institute is under administrative control of the Director General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India.

  • The Director, an officer of the Public Health sub-cadre of Central Health Service, is the administrative and technical head of the Institute.

  • The Institute has its headquarters in Delhi and has 8 out-station branches located at Alwar (Rajasthan), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Kozikode (Kerela), Coonoor (Tamil Nadu), Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh), Patna (Bihar), Rajahmundry (Andhra Pradesh) and Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).

Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1623944 )


Why in news?

  • Ministry of HRD has developed an e-Governance platform, SAMARTH(Enterprises Resource Planning) ERP, under National Mission of Education in Information and Communication Technology Scheme (NMEICT). 


  • SAMARTH, is an Open Standard Open Source Architecture, Secure, Scalable and Evolutionary Process Automation Engine for Universities and Higher Educational Institutions.

  • It caters to faculty, students and staff at a University/Higher Educational Institutions.

  •  SAMARTH, has been implemented at National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, a participating unit under the World Bank supported Technical Education Quality Improvement Program (TEQIP).

  • This initiative will enhance the productivity through better information management in the institute by seamless access to  information, and its utilization for various purposes.

Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1623944 )


Why in news?

  • Gujarat is all set to implement sensor-based service delivery monitoring system in rural drinking water sector under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).