9 PM Current Affairs Brief – April 7th, 2020

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About 9 PM Brief- With the 9 PM Current affairs brief we intend to provide our readers daily free digest of articles and editorials from multiple sources which are usually left out by aspirants. This will provide you with analysis, broad coverage and factual information in all in one pill for your IAS and IFS preparation. Take this pill daily to learn more.

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COVID-19:Scientific initiatives and Organizations in News


Intensification of Research in High Priority Area (IRPHA) scheme:

  • It was launched by the Science and Engineering Research Board(SERB) to support projects in high priority areas from the viewpoint of advances in fundamental science.

Science and Engineering Research Board(SERB):

  • It is a statutory body established through an Act of Parliament in 2008.
  • It is chaired by the Secretary to the Department of Science and Technology and has other senior government officials and eminent scientists as members. 
  • Aim:To promote basic research in science and engineering and to provide financial assistance to scientists, academic institutions and other agencies for such research.

National Innovation Foundation(NIF):

  • It was set up in 2000 as an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology.
  • Aim:To help India become a creative and knowledge-based society by expanding policy and institutional space for grassroots technological innovators.
  • Situated at: Ahmedabad,Gujarat.

Initiatives by NIF:

  • INSPIRE Award – MANAK:It is being executed by the Department of Science & Technology and NIF to motivate school children in the group of 10-15 years and studying in classes 6 to 10 for original ideas/ innovations rooted in science and societal applications.
  • Micro Venture Innovation Fund(MVIF):It was established by NIF with support from Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to provide risk capital to innovation based enterprise projects.
  • IGNITE:It is an annual competition for student’s ideas and innovations conducted by NIF in partnership with the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE).

Shukrayaan-1 Mission

News:Scientists have said that the future missions such as Shukrayaan-1 could confirm the presence of active volcanoes on Venus.


  • Shukrayaan-1 is a proposed mission of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • Launch Year: 2023
  • Aim:To study the surface and atmosphere of Venus.

Pench Tiger Reserve(PTR)

News:The death of a tiger in the Pench Tiger Reserve(PTR) has raised concerns whether the tiger should be tested for the coronavirus disease.


  • Pench Tiger Reserve(PTR) is an inter state tiger reserve spanning across two states of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • The portion of the reserve that is in Madhya Pradesh is located in the Satpura ranges.
  • The reserve comprises the Indira Priyadarshini Pench National Park, the Pench Mowgli Sanctuary and a buffer.
  • The reserve is also among the sites notified as Important Bird Areas (IBA) of India.
  • The tiger reserve is named after the Pench river that flows through.The Meghdoot dam built across Pench River falls both in M.P. and Maharashtra.

Additional Facts:

  • Other Tiger Reserves in Madhya Pradesh: a) Kanha Tiger Reserve b) Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve c) Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve d) Bori- Satpura Tiger Reserve and e) Panna Tiger Reserve.
  • Important Bird Areas(IBA):It is a programme of Birdlife International which aims to identify, monitor and protect a global network of IBAs for conservation of the world’s birds and associated biodiversity.

Explained:What is cytokine storm?

News:Several infected patients are developing severe COVID-19 because of an overreaction of their immune systems which triggers what is known as a cytokine storm syndrome(CSS).


  • Cytokine Storm:It occurs when the body’s immune system overreacts to an intruder such as a virus by producing high levels of cytokines. 
  • However, overproduction of cytokines can be harmful as it can attack healthy tissues as well.
  • Symptoms:High fever, inflammation (redness and swelling), severe fatigue and nausea.

Additional Facts:

  • Cytokines:They are a large group of proteins, peptides or glycoproteins that are secreted by specific cells of the immune system to mediate and regulate immunity and inflammation response.
  • Immune System:It is a complex network of cells, organs and tissues that work in tandem to protect the body from infection.
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