9 PM Current Affairs Brief – April 8th, 2020

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Explained: Indian migrants, across India

News: The nationwide lockdown in India has led to an exodus of migrant workers from urban centres

Facts: 

  • Internal Migrants: Migrants who move within the boundaries of their own country are known as internal migrants.
  • Extent of Internal Migration in India:
  • According to the Census 2011 migration data, over 45.58 crore Indians were found to be migrants as against 31.45 crore during 2001 Census
  • UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and MP had the highest ‘outmigration’. 
  • Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat had the largest ‘in-migration’

WORLD HEALTH DAY

News:World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7th April since 1950

Facts:

  • It is observed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • It marks the founding of WHO
  • 2020 Theme: ‘Support nurses and midwives’
  • 2020 has also been designated by the World Health Assembly as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Additional Facts:

World Health Organization

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
  • It was established on 7th April 1948, and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. 
  • The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. It has 194 member states.

Record sea temperatures cause third mass bleaching of Great Barrier Reef

News: Great Barrier Reef has suffered its most widespread coral bleaching on record.

Facts:

  • Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and longest coral reef system. 
  • It is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. 
  • It stretches for 2,300km from the tip of Cape York in the north to Bundaberg in the south in Australia.
  • It is a World Heritage Area since 1981 (the world’s first reef ecosystem to be recognised by UNESCO)

Additional Facts:

Corals: They are small (0.25-12 inches), soft-bodied marine organisms that live in colonies called reefs that they build using a limestone skeleton (calicle) lying at their base. 

Coral bleaching: It occurs when corals lose the highly productive algae (termed zooxanthellae) from their tissues due to stress from high sea temperatures and solar radiation. Corals then turn white in colour.

Govt frees exports of all APIs, formulations except paracetamol

News:Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) removed the export restrictions on 24 active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and formulations. These include Vitamins B6, B1, B12, Neomycin, Erythromycin among others. 

Facts:

  • Background: Amid COVID-19 pandemic, the government had earlier restricted exports of 26 bulk drugs and their formulations to curb shortages in India. 

Additional Facts:

Directorate General of Foreign Trade

  • It is an attached office of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and is headed by the Director -General of Foreign Trade.
  • It is responsible for implementing the Foreign Trade Policy with the main objective of promoting India’s exports.

Bulk Drugs:  The active chemical substances in powder form, the main ingredient in pharmaceuticals – chemicals having therapeutic value, used for the production of pharmaceutical formulations.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API): It is the part of any drug that produces the intended effects

GoI launches “Containment Plan for Large Outbreaks”

News: The government of India has released a containment plan for large outbreaks. The plan is based on the Bhilwara model — Rajasthan government’s strategy in the Bhilwara district, which is a Covid-19 hotspot.

Facts:

  • Geographical areas will be quarantined under this model.
  • The Disaster Management Act of 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 can be used to implement the model. 
  • CrPc and IPC sections can be used to book violators.
  • People will be checked for influenza-like symptoms. They will be monitored actively and tested. Labs will give results in 12 to 24 hours. 
  • All healthcare workers should use hydroxychloroquine as prophylactic.
  • If there are no cases for four weeks, normalcy can be declared.

SAMADHAN Challenge 

News:SAMADHAN Challenge has been launched by Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Human Resources Development and All India Council for Technical Education in collaboration with Forge and InnovatioCuris.

Facts:

  • Aim:To invite students, innovators, researchers, educators and startups to share their ideas with a working prototype which can be deployed immediately to solve the challenges posed by Pandemic.

Additional Facts:

Innovation Cell:

  • It has been established at All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) premises to foster the culture of Innovation in all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the country.

Certificate of Origin

News:Commerce ministry has created an online platform for issuance of ‘certificate of origin’ for exporters.

Facts:

  • Certificate of Origin: It is a document used in International trade declaring in which country a commodity or good was manufactured.
  • Significance:They are essential for exporters to prove where their goods come from and therefore stake their claim to whatever benefits goods of Indian origin may be eligible for in the country of exports.

Dhauladhar range

News:Dhauladhar mountain range has become visible from Jalandhar, Punjab for the first time because of less air pollution caused by the ongoing lockdown.

Facts:

  • Dhauladhar range:It is part of a lesser Himalayan chain of mountains.It rises from the Indian plains to the north of Kangra and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and ends near Badrinath,Uttarakhand.
  • Elevation:It ranges widely from 3,500 m to nearly 6,000 metres.
  • Topography:They are mostly composed of granite but limestone and sandstone also exist in some parts.
  • Highest Peak: Hanuman Tibba.
  • Glacier Lake: Lam Dal lake is situated in this range.
  • Major Pass: Indrahar Pass which forms the border between Kangra and Chamba districts of the Himachal Pradesh.

SnowEx Programme

News:National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) has launched a programme called SnowEx.

Facts:

  • SnowEx is a five year programme launched in 2016.
  • Objective:To address the most important gaps in snow remote sensing knowledge and thus lay the groundwork for a future snow satellite mission.
  • The geographical focus of the programme is proposed as the North America region.
  • Significance:It will help in better understanding of how much water is contained in each winter’s snowfall and how much will be available when it melts in the spring.

Madhuvan Gajar

News:A farmer Scientist from Gujarat has been awarded Padma Shri for developing Madhuvan Gajar- a biofortified carrot variety.

Facts:

  • Benefits: High yielding, Highest carotene content, Deep red color, long size and longer shelf life.

Additional Facts:

  • Biofortification:It is the process by which the nutritional quality of food crops is improved through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology.
  • Food fortification:It is the deliberate addition of one or more micronutrients to food so as to correct or prevent a deficiency and provide a health benefit.
  • Difference:Biofortification differs from conventional fortification as biofortification aims to increase nutrient levels in crops during plant growth rather than through manual means during processing of the crops.
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