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News:Periyar river has turned black due to discharge of chemical wastes by industries located on the banks of the river.
- The Periyar River is the longest river in the state of Kerala.It is also known as ‘Lifeline of Kerala’ as it is one of the few perennial rivers in the state.
- Origin: It originates from Sivagiri Hills of Western Ghats and flows through Periyar National Park and reaches the Periyar Lake and then the water flows into Vembanad Lake and finally into Arabian Sea.
- Major Tributaries: Muthirapuzha, Mullayar, Cheruthoni, Perinjankutti and Edamala rivers.
- Idukki Dam:It is situated on the Periyar river and generates a significant proportion of Kerala’s electrical power.
- Mullaperiyar dam:It is located on the confluence of the Mullayar and Periyar rivers in Kerala’s Idukki district.It is operated and maintained by the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
- Perennial River:Itis a channel that has continuous flow in parts of its stream bed all year round.
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC)
News:Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) has asked the Indian government to take steps to protect Muslim minorities who are facing Islamophobia amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation(OIC) is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations.
- Established: 1969
- Aim:To work as a collective voice of the Muslim world by safeguarding the interests of the muslims in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.
- Members: 57 states.
- Observers: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Central African Republic, Thailand, Russian Federation and Turkish Cypriot State.
- Headquarters:Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- India:It is not a member of the OIC. However,India was invited as a guest of honour at the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Minister in 2019.
Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC):
- It was established in 1981 as a regional intergovernmental political and economic alliance of countries in the Arabian Peninsula.
- Members: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait.
- Headquarters: Riyadh,Saudi Arabia.
News: Cognizant, an IT services provider, has said that it has faced a Maze ransomware attack that has caused disruptions to its clients.
- Ransomware:It is a type of malicious program used by hackers to take control of files in an infected system and then demand hefty payments to recover them.
- The Maze ransomware was discovered in 2019 and has since increased its presence.
- Malware (malicious software): It refers to any kind of software that is designed to cause damage to a single computer, server or computer network.
- Spyware: It is a malware that functions by spying on user activity without their knowledge
- Trojan horse: It is a malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program to trick users into downloading and installing malware.
- Virus: It is malware that is capable of copying itself and spreading to other computers.
- World Wide Help(WWH): It is a platform developed by IIT Bombay to connect people seeking medical help with helpers such as doctors.
- GoCoronaGo:It is an app developed by Indian Institute of Science(IISc) to help identify people who may have crossed paths with COVID-19 suspects.
- Sampark-o-Meter:It is an app developed by IIT Ropar students which can indicate areas on maps with maximum coronavirus infection possibility.
- Corontine: It is an app developed by IIT Bombay to help the authorities in tracking the suspected asymptomatic patients of coronavirus if they leave their quarantine zone.
- Covid-19 Feedback:It has been launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to gather information from users about any treatment or tests they may have gone through.
News:Researchers at the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences(CeNS) have developed TriboE masks which can hold electric charges to restrict the entry of infections without any external power.
- The mask is based on electrostatics which works on the principles of triboelectric effect.
- The mask is a three layered structure –a layer of nylon cloth sandwiched between polypropylene layers.
- When the layers are rubbed against each other, static electricity is produced which is expected to restrict the possible transmission of infections.
- Triboelectric effect: It is a type of contact electrification in which certain materials become electrically charged after they are separated from a different material with which they were in contact.
- Example: Rubbing of a plastic pen on a sleeve of almost any typical material like cotton, wool or blended fabric used in modern clothing.Such an electrified pen would readily attract and pick up pieces of paper less than a square centimeter when the pen approaches.
News:The sale of Bangalore blue variety of grapes has been affected due to Coronavirus pandemic.
- Bangalore Blue is a variety of fox grapes grown in districts around Bangalore.
- It is one of the three major varieties of grape in the state of Karnataka (the other two being Thomson seedless and Anab-E-Shahi Dilkush).
- In 2013, the variety was given the Geographical Indication(GI) status.
Strategic Petroleum Reserves(SPR)
News:Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas has allowed the public sector refiners to use the strategic Petroleum reserves(SPR) for storing their oil purchases.
- Strategic Petroleum Reserves(SPR): These are stockpiles of crude oil maintained by countries or private industries which are meant to tackle emergency situations to counter short-term supply disruptions.
- The Strategic Crude Oil Storage facilities in India is managed by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited(ISPRL), a Special Purpose Vehicle which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oil Industry Development Board(OIDB) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
- ISPRL has established Strategic Petroleum Reserves(SPR) facilities at three locations namely Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur.
- Government has approved the establishment of two additional SPR facilities at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka.
India pitches to enhance New Development Bank’s emergency assistance from $ 1 billion to $ 10 billion
News: India advocated to enhance New Development Bank’s emergency assistance from the current $ 1 billion to $ 10 billion.
- New Development Bank (NDB) is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
- It was previosuly known as the BRICS Development Bank. It was established in 2014 and is headquartered in Shanghai, China.
- Aim: To mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries.
- BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies that have similar economic development. The five countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Brazil is the current chair of BRICS
- The acronym was first used in 2001 by economist Jim O’Neill.
- In 2010, South Africa was officially admitted as a BRIC nation following an invitation from China and the other BRIC nations, making the current acronym BRICS.
Prime Minister stresses on Adaptability, Efficiency, Inclusivity, Opportunity and Universalism for a new business and work culture
News: According to Indian Prime Minister, new business and work culture will be redefined on the following vowels – A, E, I, O and U.
- A stands for Adaptability, E for Efficiency, I for Inclusivity, O for Opportunity and U for U
New model to predict ionospheric electron density can help communication/navigation
News:Researchers from Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) have developed a new Artificial Neural Networks based global Ionospheric Model (ANNIM)
- The Global Ionospheric Model (ANNIM) has been developed using long-term ionospheric observations to predict the ionospheric electron density and the peak parameters.
- Significance: It will help predict the ionospheric electron density with larger data coverage which is crucial for communication and navigation.
- Artificial Neural Networks: These are computing systems replicate the processes in the human brain (or biological neurons) to solve problems such as pattern recognition, classification, clustering, generalization etc.
- Ionosphere: It is defined as the layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that is ionized by solar and cosmic radiation. It lies 75-1000 km above the Earth. It has practical importance because it influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth.
Biomedical waste facilities a red flag in coronavirus fight
News: the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has highlighted Common Bio-Medical Waste Treatment Facilities (CBWTFs) as an important factor in fighting coronavirus pandemic.
- It is a facility/ set up where biomedical waste, generated from a number of healthcare units, undergoes treatment to reduce adverse effects of these waste.
- Biomedical waste: It includes human & animal anatomical waste, treatment apparatus like needles, syringes and other materials used in health care facilities in the process of treatment and research. In India, biomedical waste is dealt under Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules 2016.