9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 31st, 2020

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We are posting Todays 9pm Current Affair Brief

About 9pm Current Affair Brief – This initiative provides a brief of all the relevant articles of day in a clear, concise and easily consumable format. Students don’t need to look anywhere more for your daily news bytes. It will help students in their prelims and mains preparation.

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9pm Current Affair Briefs Archives

Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

News: United Nations World Tourism Organization(UNWTO) in collaboration with the World Health Organization(WHO) has launched Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge.

Facts:

  • Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge is a global call to reach the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs and drive solutions to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on tourism.

Additional Facts:

UNWTO

  • Aim: To promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
  • Headquarters: Madrid, Spain.
  • Members: It includes 158 countries, 6 territories and over 500 affiliate members.

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Convalescent plasma therapy

News: US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of convalescent plasma therapy for patients with serious life-threatening COVID-19 infections.

Facts:

  • Convalescent plasma therapy aims to make use of the antibodies developed in the recovered patient against the infections.
  • Under this, whole blood or plasma from recovered patients are taken and then injected into critically ill patients so that the antibodies are transferred and boost their fight against the virus.

Additional Facts:

Plasma:

  • Plasma also called Blood Plasma is the single largest component of human blood.
  • Functions: a) maintain blood pressure and volume b) Supply critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity c) Carries electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to our muscles and d) Helps to maintain a proper pH balance in the body which supports cell function.

Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite(AEHFS)

News: The U.S Space Force Space has successfully launched the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite.

Facts:

  • Advanced Extremely High Frequency(AEHF) are a series of six communications satellites operated by the United States Space Force.
  • Objective: To provide secure satellite communications from geostationary orbits for strategic missions operating on ground, sea and air platforms.
  • The communications will be delivered to the armed forces of the US and its international partners including the Netherlands, UK and Canada.

Peace Forest Initiative

News: The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) to establish the Peace Forest Initiative(PFI).

Facts:

  • Peace Forest is an initiative of South Korea launched in 2019 during the 14th Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD in New Delhi, India.
  • Aim: To promote cooperation between countries to rehabilitate degraded land and forest in fragile and post-conflict locations while promoting peace and confidence.

Additional Facts:

UNCCD:

It is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.It was established in 1994 and it has 197 parties.

Exercise Red Flag

News: The U.S Air Force has cancelled Exercise Red Flag.The Indian Air Force (IAF) was also to take part in the exercise.

Facts:

  • Exercise Red Flag is an annual aerial combat training exercise between the Air Force of the United States and its allies.It was held for the first time in 1975.
  • Aim:To offer realistic air-combat training for military pilots and other flight crew members from the United States and allied countries.

Sodium Hypochlorite

News:Several States sprayed sodium hypochlorite solution on migrant workers to sanitise them.

Facts:

  • Sodium hypochlorite(NaOCl) is a compound that is used for surface purification, bleaching, odor removal and water disinfection.
  • It is not recommended to be used on human beings as large quantities of chlorine can be harmful for the skin.

Air purifying technology to disinfect State hospitals in COVID-19 fight

News:‘Scitech Airon’, an air purifier, developed under ‘Nidhi Prayas’ programme, will be used to disinfect state hospitals amid coronavirus pandemic. The air purifying technology has been developed by an incubatee company of the Pune-based Science and Technology Park (STP or Scitech Park).

Facts:

  • NIDHI-PRAYAS (National Initiative for developing and harnessing Innovation – PRomoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring innovators & startups) is a sub-scheme of NIDHI programme.
  • Launched in: 2016
  • Launched by: Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • Aim: To support young innovators turn their ideas into proof of concept and prototypes.

Additional Facts:

National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI)

  • It is an umbrella scheme to support ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups.
  • Launched by: Department of Science and Technology

Components:

  1. NIDHI GCC – Grand Challenges and Competitions for scouting innovations
  2. NIDHI – PRomoting and and accelerating Young and Aspiring Innovators and Startups (NIDHI-PRAYAS) – Support from Idea to Prototype
  3. NIDHI-Entrepreneur In Residence (NIDHI-EIR)-Support system to reduce risk
  4. Startup-NIDHI
  5. NIDHI-Technology Business Incubator(TBI)-Converting Innovations to start-ups
  6. NIDHI-Accelerator-Fast tracking a start-up through focused intervention
  7. NIDHI-Seed Support System (NIDHI-SSS)-Providing early stage investment
  8. NIDHI Centres of Excellence (NIDHI-CoE)-A World class facility to help startups go global

Himalayan Ibex a distinct species

News: A recent study by scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has proved that Himalayan Ibex, is a distinct species from the Siberian Ibex.The study was funded through the National Mission on Himalayan Studies

Facts:

  • Siberian Ibex is a species of wild goat.
  • Distribution: mountain ranges of central and northeastern Afghanistan, China, north India (Himalayas of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh), eastern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, northeastern Uzbekistan, northern Pakistan, Russia , and Tajikistan.
  • IUCN Status: Least Concern

Additional Facts:

National Mission on Himalayan Studies:

  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
  • Aim: Addressing the key issues relating to conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in Indian Himalayan Region

System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)

News: According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), the impact of the measures taken due to the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a drop in PM2.5 by 30% in Delhi and by 15% in Ahmedabad and Pune.

Facts:

  • SAFAR is a system to measure the air quality of a metropolitan city. It measures the overall pollution level and the location-specific air quality of the city.
  • Launched by:Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
  • Developed by:Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune 
  • Operationalized by: India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • Cities covered: Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad
  • Information provided: 
    • Air quality forecast, 1-3 days in advance (Pollutants measured: PM2.5, PM10, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, and Mercury)
    • Weather forecast, 1-3 days in advance
    • Location-specific UV index information
    • Emission scenario

Additional Facts:

Air Quality Index (AQI):

  • The AQI classifies air quality of a day considering criteria pollutants through colour codes and air quality descriptor. Further, it also links air quality with likely human health impacts.
  • Measures eight major pollutants: particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5), nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, ammonia and lead.

Bara-Lacha La

News: Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is taking snow clearance operations in Bara-Lacha La

Facts:

  • Bara-Lacha La is a high mountain pass in Zanskar range
  • It connects Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Leh district in Ladakh
  • The pass acts as a water-divide between the Bhaga river, a tributary of the Chenab river and the Yunam river.

Additional Facts:

Border Roads Organisation(BRO):

  • BRO was formed in 1960 to secure India’s borders and develop infrastructure in remote areas of the north and north-east states of the country.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Defence 

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