Related Topics: Awards & Honours, Science & Technology
- Three scientists have been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries.
- The Prize includes 9-million kronor ($918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.
The Nobel Winners
- John D. Goodenough
- Stanley Whittingham
- Akira Yoshino
Award Winning Discovery
- In the early 1970s, Whittingham used lithium’s enormous drive to release its outer electron when he developed the first functional lithium battery.
- Goodenough doubled the lithium battery’s potential, creating the right conditions for a vastly more powerful and useful battery.
- Yoshino succeeded in eliminating pure lithium from the battery, instead basing it wholly on lithium ions, which are safer than pure lithium.
- This made the battery workable in practice.
- The result was a lightweight, hardwearing battery that could be charged hundreds of times before its performance deteriorated.
- The advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they are not based upon chemical reactions that break down the electrodes, but upon lithium ions flowing back and forth between the anode and cathode.
- Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionized human lives since they first entered the market in 1991.
- Today, lithium batteries are used everywhere from mobile phones to electric vehicles.
- It is also used to store significant amounts of energy from solar and wind power, making possible a fossil fuel-free society.
Related Topics: Economy & Banking, Cooperative Banks
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given the go-ahead to the State government to amalgamate 13 district cooperative banks (DCBs) with the Kerala State Cooperative Bank (KSCB) for forming the proposed Kerala Bank.
About Kerala Bank
- With its formation, the proposed ‘Kerala Bank’ will become the largest banking network in Kerala.
- As per the government sources, the objective of the formation of the Kerala Bank is to strengthen the cooperative sector.
- All district banks, except the Malappuram District Cooperative Bank, had approved the scheme of amalgamation proposed by the State government at their respective general body meetings.
- The government may give one more opportunity to the Malappuram bank’s general body to approve the scheme.
- The merger approval would be contingent upon the order of the High Court on a case challenging the amendment to Section 14(A) of the Kerala State Cooperative Societies (KSCS) Act.
- The government would have to complete the stipulations laid for merger and submit a compliance report to the apex bank before March 31, 2020.
- RBI had insisted that the State government should closely abide by the provisions of the KSCS Act and rules at every stage, strengthen the capital of the KSCB to ensure sustained net worth and adherence to capital to risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR) norms, a standard metric to assess balance sheet strength of banks, post merger.
- State government would have to consistently infuse additional capital and also put in place a well-defined governance structure by amending the KSCS Act.
- The government submitted a compliance report to the RBI in March 2019 and the final approval for amalgamation of 13 district banks was accorded.
Related Topics: Government Policies & Initiatives, Public Health
Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Progress under National Health Mission (NHM) and Decisions of the Empowered Programme Committee and Mission Steering Group of the NHM.
- There has been acceleration in decline of Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Under Five Mortality Rate (U5MR) and the IMR since the launch of the NRHM/NHM.
- At the current rate of decline, India should able to reach its SDG target (MMR-70, U5MR-25) much before the due year. 2030.
- India was the biggest success story amongst Malaria endemic countries in the World, in bringing down the Malaria cases and deaths which have declined by 49.09% and 50.52% in 2013 respectively compared to 2017.
- Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) has been significantly strengthened and intensified.
- Newer drug regimen of Bedaquiline and Delaminide and nutrition support to all the TB patients for the duration of the treatment has been rolled throughout the country.
- Amongst the new vaccines, Tetanus and adult Diphtheria (Td) vaccine replaced Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine under universal immunization programme in 2018 to ensure Diphtheria immunity among adults.
- In 2018, Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccination drive was conducted in 17 additional States, thereby covering 30.50 Crores children till March 2019.
- During 2018-19, Rotavirus vaccine (RVV) was introduced in additional two States. Till today, all the States/UTs are covered with RVV.
- The routine and recurring incentives of ASHAs got increased from 1000 per month to 2000 per month.
- ASHAs and ASHA Facilitators were provided the cover of Pradhan Mantri Jevan Jyoti Beema Yojna (Premium of Rs. 330 contributed by Gol) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Beema Yojna (Premium of Rs.12 contributed by Gol).
- Anaemia Mukt Bharat (AMB) Abhiyaan was launched under POSHAN Abhiyaan in April 2018.
- Home Based Care for Young Child (HBYC) programme was introduced under POSHAN Abhiyaan.
- National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme was approved for prevention, management and treatment of Hepatitis to A, B, C and E and rollout was initiated. This would benefit an estimated 5 crore patients of Hepatitis.
- The scheme for awarding States/UTs/Districts for achieving disease free status in TB/Leprosy/Malaria/Kala-Azar/Lymphatic-Filariasis/Cataract was approved.
FACTS OF THE DAY
WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is observing the “World Mental Health Day” on 10th October, 2019. World Mental Health Day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health. Mental health Day 2019 is supported by WHO, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United for Global Mental Health. Every year about 800,000 people die due to suicide, which makes it one suicide every 40 seconds. Hence, the theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is “40 seconds of action”. The objective is to raise awareness about the surging numbers. India makes up for 17% of the world’s population, and also records a high number of suicidal deaths.
HINDU-KUSH-HIMALAYAN (HKH) REGION
India Meteorological Department (IMD) will collaborate with meteorological agencies in China and Pakistan, among others, to provide climate forecast services to countries in the region to better gauge the impact of climate change on the Hindu Kush Mountains, which includes the Himalayas. The Hindu-Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region is considered the Third Pole [after the North and South Poles], and has significant implications for climate. The HKH region spans Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It traverses about 5 million square kilometres and hosts a large and culturally diverse population. The Third Pole, which contains vast cryospheric zones, is also the world’s largest store of snow and ice outside the polar region. Alongside forecasting weather over long periods, the regional centres would provide data services, training and capacity-building, research and development. A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted the threat to the HKH region from global warming.