November 2019

Daily Current Affairs (22-11-19)

ECONOMY

NUGEN MOBILITY SUMMIT 2019

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Economy [Paper-II]: Infrastructure in Indian Economy, Rural and Urban Infrastructure

News

International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) is organizing the NuGen Mobility Summit 2019 from 27th to 29th November, 2019 in Manesar, Gurugram.

About the Summit

  • The objective of the Summit is to share new ideas, learnings, global experiences, innovations and future technologies trends for the faster adoption, assimilation and development of advanced Automotive Technologies for a smarter and greener future.
  • The event is being organized in association with SAENIS, SAE INDIA, SAE International, NATRiP, DIMTS, DHI, MoRTH, SIAM and ACMA.
  • The Summit will host more than 2500 participants, more than 250 exhibitors and 150 keynotes and technical papers.
  • The event will help in building a platform for bringing together all stakeholders in the automotive industry to understand global advancements in technologies.
  • The uniqueness of this event is track demonstrations, drive-touch-feel activity and lab demonstrations on upcoming vehicle technologies like connected mobility, autonomous vehicles, electric mobility, alternate fuels, intelligent transportation system, hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen I.C engine, vehicle dynamics, advance materials and light weighting, end of life vehicles and recycling.
  • The Summit will provide insights into the upcoming technologies in the area of smart and green mobility, first hand feels of vehicle technology trends, interaction with industry experts and OEMs from India and abroad, understanding the associated testing regulations, future design trends and solutions.

[Source: PIB]

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

AVIAN BOTULISM IN SAMBHAR LAKE

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Science and Technology [Paper-II]: Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Care.

News

Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly has confirmed avian botulism as the reason for mass mortality of birds, including migratory species from Northern Asia, at Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan.

What is Botulism?

  • It is a serious neuro-muscular illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
  • Clostridium botulinum produces dangerous toxins (botulinum toxins) under low-oxygen conditions.
  • It is commonly found in the soil, river, and sea water.
  • There are around eight types — A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F, and G — of botulinum toxin.
  • Botulinum toxins are one of the most lethal substances known.
  • Botulinum toxins block nerve functions and can lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis.

Avian botulism

  • Botulinum affects both humans and animals but the type of the toxin varies — botulinum C in birds and A, B and E in humans.
  • It affects the nervous system of birds, leading to flaccid paralysis in their legs and wings and neck touching the ground.
  • The toxin has been recognised as a major cause of mortality in wild birds since the 1900s.

What happened at Sambhar?

  • According to the report by IVRI, avian botulism that caused the mass die-off at Sambhar was caused by the climate.
  • Water levels were fluctuating throughout the year. Due to a good monsoon this year, the water level reached the lake bed after a gap of 20 years.
  • Good monsoon provided a favourable environment for the bacteria to spread. The bacteria needs anaerobic (absence of oxygen) conditions and does not grow in acidic conditions.
  • The monsoon brought a large population of crustaceans (like shrimps, crabs, and prawns), invertebrates (snails) and plankton (like algae) with it.
  • These living organisms are capable of hosting the bacteria for a long period of time.
  • According to another theory, ‘a bird-to-bird cycle’ could also have led to the tragedy.
  • In such an event, maggots feeding on dead birds can concentrate the toxin. Birds feeding on dead birds can get affected.
  • This was observed in Sambhar too as researchers found only insectivorous and omnivorous birds affected and not herbivores
  • IVRI report discounted external factors like water pollution and eutrophication as no farming was being carried out in the vicinity and the runoff from the same was not possible.

Way Forward

  • State Government should pass legislation in the Assembly to create a Sambhar Lake Development and Conservation Authority.
  • This authority should be handed A to Z responsibility of Sambhar Lake.
  • Clostridium botulinum needs protein to produce botulism toxin. Since animal carcasses are an excellent source of protein, removing them reduces the resources the bacterium needs to produce toxin and can help reduce or eliminate toxin production.
  • Botulism outbreaks are likely to become more frequent as climate change alters wetland conditions to favour bacteria and pathogens.
  • In addition to the efforts for mitigating climate change, establishment of rescue and medical centres is also the need of the hour.

[Source: Down To Earth, The Hindu, Indian Express]

 

GEOGRAPHY

MAHADAYI (MANDOVI) RIVER

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Geography [Paper-I]: Physical, Social, Economic Geography of World, India and Kerala

News

Union Ministry for Environment and Forests has rejected Goa government’s demand seeking withdrawal of a letter issued by the central ministry giving a go ahead to Karnataka’s controversial water diversion project at Kalasa-Banduri across the Mahadayi River.

Kalasa Banduri Project

  • The project proposes to divert water of Mahadayi River (also known as Mandovi) from Kalasa and Banduri canals into the Malaprabha River.
  • The project aims to facilitate drinking water to 13 towns of Dharwad, Belagavi, Bagalkote and Gadag that is part of the northern parts of Karnataka that is home to the second most arid regions in the country after Rajasthan.

Why Karnataka and Goa are fighting over Mahadayi?

  • The trigger for the dispute was Karnataka’s move to design a number of dams, canals and barrages to route the Mahadayi river water to the Malaprabha basin.
  • Karnataka claimed that channelling the river water into the basin of Malaprabha, a tributary of the Krishna, would meet the requirements of water-scarce districts of Bagalkot, Gadag, Dharwad and Belagavi.
  • Goa contended that its population is dependent on the river’s natural path and any move to divert it would affect its fragile ecosystem.
  • It claimed that the ingress of saltwater in the river, which is dependent on monsoons, will ultimately end up killing the state’s mangroves and green belt, disturb the relationship between the people and the land, as well as the ecological balance.
  • After sustained efforts by the government of Goa, the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal was set up on November, 2010.
  • In August 2018, the tribunal had allotted 13.42 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) from the Mhadei river basin (including 3.9 TMC for diversion into the depleted Malaprabha river basin) to Karnataka and Maharashtra was allotted 1.33 TMC.
  • Both Karnataka and Goa have contested the order and the matter is now pending in apex court.

[Source: Indian Express, Livemint]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

PATENT PROSECUTION HIGHWAY (PPH) PROGRAMME
  • Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for adoption of Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme by the Indian Patent Office (IPO) under the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks, India (CGPDTM) with patent offices of various other interest countries or regions.
  • The programme will initially commence between Japan Patent Office (JPO) and Indian Patent Office on pilot basis for a period of three years.
  • Under the Pilot programme, Indian Patent Office may receive patent applications in certain specified technical fields namely, Electrical, Electronics, Computer Science, Information Technology, Physics, Civil, Mechanical, Textiles, Automobiles and Metallurgy while JPO may receive applications in all fields of technology.
  • The ambit of the programme may be extended in future, as decided by the Commerce & Industry Minister.
  • The patent offices will frame their own guidelines for implementation of the programme.
  • PPH programme would lead to the reduction in time to dispose patent applications, reduction in pendency of patent applications and improvement in quality of search and examination of patent applications.
PHARMACEUTICALS PURCHASE POLICY (PPP)
  • Union Cabinet has approved extension/renewal of Pharmaceuticals Purchase Policy (PPP) for pharmaceutical Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) till their closure/strategic disinvestment.
  • Extension or renewal of the policy would help the pharma CPSUs in optimum utilization of their existing facilities.
  • PPP was approved by the Cabinet on 30.10.2013 for a period of five years in respect of 103 medicines manufactured by pharma CPSUs and their subsidiaries.
  • The policy is applicable to purchases by Central/ State Government departments and their Public Sector Undertakings etc.
  • The pricing of the products is done by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA).
  • The procuring entity can purchase from Pharma CPSUs and their subsidiaries subject to their meeting Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) norms as per Schedule ‘M’ of the Drugs & Cosmetic Rules.
QUID PRO QUO
  • As the dramatic proceedings to impeach President Donald Trump unfolded in the United States Congress, one expression that has been heard over and over again is “quid pro quo”.
  • President Trump and his supporters have insisted that quid pro quio cannot be established in his dealings with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, thus absolving him of blame.
  • According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, quid pro quo means “something given or received for something else”.
  • In the 1500s in England, it was often used in the sense of pharmacists substituting one medicine for the other, by accident or design.
  • It has also been part of trade lexicon as a term for the barter system.
  • It made its way into legal terminology, where it is now used to imply a mutually beneficial deal between two parties.
  • In political contexts, it is often seen as an essential requirement to suggest or establish corruption, wrongdoing, or impropriety.
PETA INDIA’S PERSON OF THE YEAR
  • Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli was named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s ‘Person of the Year for 2019’ for his animal advocacy efforts.
  • Kohli’s efforts to improve conditions for animals include sending a letter on PETA India’s behalf to officials calling for the release of Malti, an elephant used for rides at Amer Fort, who was reportedly violently beaten by eight men.
  • PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters.

 

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