News (Text)


When:
July 17, 2018 @ 1:00 am
2018-07-17T01:00:00+05:30
2018-07-17T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

17 JULY 2018

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA-RUSSIA

Trump sees no reason to believe Russian meddling

2.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Wholesale price inflation touches a four-year high

3.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

CBSE moves SC in NEET marks row

4.

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY

LIC nod for raising stake in IDBI Bank

5.

GS III: DEFENCE

BrahMos tested in extreme weather conditions

6.

GS III: S&T – SPACE

Upgraded Vikas engine – with more thrust – will boost ISRO’s rockets

7.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

SC lashes out at Centre on pollution

8.

GS III: INFRASTUCTURE

U.S. team begins audit of DGCA

9.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

Sugar production set to hit a record high next season

10.

GS II: POLITY – BILL/ACT

President clears Bill against witch-hunting

11.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

SC declines to stay new rules on tobacco products

12.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICIES

Faster visas for minorities from three nations

13.

GS III: DEFENCE

Army to resume M777 trials

14.

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

SC to decide if J&K police can book Army men

15.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

CBI says ‘tainted’ officers are being deputed to it

16.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-IRAN

India, Iran pledge to maintain trade levels

17.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA

White House orders direct talks with Taliban

18.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA-CHINA

China challenges U.S. tariff threat at WTO

19.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

EU warns Sri Lanka over death penalty

20.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

IMF cuts India growth forecast for 2018 by a notch to 7.3%

21.

GS III: S&T – IT – DATA PROTECTION

‘Users own data, not entities storing them’

22.

GS III: S&T – HEALTH

Nano-bubbles triggered by X-ray can target cancer

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA-RUSSIA

Trump sees no reason to believe Russian meddling

  • Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit at Helsinki on 16 July 2018, vowing to forge a reset of troubled relations between the world’s greatest nuclear powers.
  • Mr. Trump, bent on forging a personal bond with the Kremlin chief despite allegations of Russian meddling in U.S. politics, went into the summit blaming the “stupidity” of his predecessors for plunging ties to their present low.
  • Mr. Trump said he had raised the issue of alleged Russian meddling in U.S. elections. “We spent a great deal of time talking about it. He feels strongly about the issue and has an interesting idea….President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
  • Mr. Putin denied any such interference, saying the allegations were “complete nonsense.”
  • The pair sat down to discuss everything from Syria, Ukraine and China to trade tariffs and the size of their nuclear arsenals.
  • Mr. Trump admitted that Russia remains a foe, but he put Moscow on a par with China and the European Union as economic and diplomatic rivals.
  • Mr. Putin praised cooperation between Russian and U.S. security services, adding that he favoured continued cooperation in “the fight against terror and ensuring cybersecurity”.

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

Wholesale price inflation touches a four-year high

  • Inflation at the wholesale level quickened to 5.77% in June 2018, the highest since December 2013, driven in large part by rising fuel prices, according to official data released.
  • Growth in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) accelerated in June from 4.43% in May 2018, and is far higher than the 0.9% seen in June 2017.

GS II: SOCIAL – EDUCATION

CBSE moves SC in NEET marks row

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Monday moved the Supreme Court against a Madras High Court judgment directing it to grant grace marks to students who wrote the NEET exam in Tamil.
  • The Madurai Bench of the High Court had ordered the CBSE to grant 196 marks – four marks each for 49 erroneous questions – in the Tamil version of this year’s NEET.
  • Passing the orders on a public interest litigation petition, the High Court directed the CBSE to consequently revise the list of eligible candidates and publish it afresh.
  • Sources said the main thrust of the appeal would be the fact that an information bulletin of the NEET had said that in case of any ambiguity in the bilingual texts, the English version would be treated as final.
  • There were 180 questions with a total mark of 720 in the NEET.
  • The CBSE conducted the NEET on May 6 in 136 cities in 11 languages, the results of which were announced on June 4.

GS III: ECONOMY – POLICY

LIC nod for raising stake in IDBI Bank

  • The board of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has approved the proposal to buy 51% shares in the state-run IDBI Bankpaving the way for a stake sale in the cash-strapped lender.
  • The IDBI Bank’s financial health has deteriorated with the yearly loss widening to Rs. 8,238 crore in FY18 from Rs. 5,158 crore in FY17.
  • Its gross non-performing assets at the end of March was 27.95% of advances.
  • The lender is under the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • While the LIC holds 8% stake in the Bank, the government holds about 86% and has been trying to shed its stake in the beleaguered bank for about two years now.
  • According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations, any company that acquires 25% stake in a listed entity has to make an open offer to acquire 26% additional stake from the public shareholders.
  • The capital market watchdog may waive the requirement in the case of LIC as it has done earlier in matters involving the government and public sector entities.
  • Insurance regulator IRDAI has already cleared LIC’s proposal to pick up up 51% stake in the IDBI Bank.

GS III: DEFENCE

BrahMos tested in extreme weather conditions

  • The supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test-fired, under extreme weather conditions, as part of the service life extension programme for the Army.
  • BrahMos has again proved its all-weather capability, flying in sea state 7, with waves as high as nine metres,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement. (Sea state is the degree of turbulence at sea, generally measured on a scale of 0 to 9 according to average wave height).
  • The missile was fired from a mobile autonomous launcher at 10.17 a.m. from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Odisha.
  • BrahMosa joint venture between India and Russia, has been demonstrated in various configurations in land-attack, anti-ship and from the air.
  • The Army and the Navy have already inducted the missile, while the air-launched variant is undergoing trials.
  • It has a strike range of around 290 km and is described as the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile.

GS III: S&T – SPACE

Upgraded Vikas engine – with more thrust – will boost ISRO’s rockets

  • All three satellite launch vehicles of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are set to add muscle to their spacecraft lifting power in upcoming missions in 2018.
  • The space agency has improved the thrust of the Vikas engine that powers all of them.
  • The agency said the high-thrust engine qualified after a ground test lasting 195 seconds.
  • The main beneficiary of the high-thrust Vikas engine is said to be the heavy-lifting GSLV-Mark III launcher, which ISRO expects will put 4,000-kg satellites to space.
  • This would be the third Mk-III and the first working one to be designated MkIII Mission-1 or M1.
  • The first MkIII of June 2017 started with a 3,200-kg satellite and the second one is being readied for lifting a 3,500-kg spacecraft.
  • The Vikas engine “will improve the payload capability of PSLV, GSLV and GSLVMk-III launch vehicles,” ISRO said.
  • The Vikas engine is used in the second stage of the light lifting PSLV; the second stage and the four add-on stages of the medium-lift GSLV; and the twin-engine core liquid stage of Mk-III.
  • Mr. Somanath said that, eventually, ISRO will phase out Vikas by replacing it first in Mk-III with a cleaner and safer semi-cryogenic engine.
  • The semi-cryo engine is ready for trial; its stage has just been approved.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT – POLLUTION

SC lashes out at Centre on pollution

  • The Supreme Court’s Green Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta is hearing the issue of ban on import of petcoke – a toxic fuel used in hazardous industries.
  • “What is more important for you? Saving lives of people or industry?” Justice Lokur asked the government, represented by Additional Solicitor General A.N.S. Nadkarni in court.
  • When Mr. Nadkarni said “lives,” Justice Lokur asked then why is there a “delay” in imposing a ban.
  • “When the Ministry of Petroleum is saying ‘please stop import of petcoke’, the Environment Ministry is not concerned. This report filed by the Ministry of Environment is an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ report. They are employing delay tactics,” the amicus curiae submitted.
  • The court has been urging the government since December 2017 to move forward towards a nationwide ban on the use of petcoke and furnace oil to power up industries, in a bid to fight pollution.
  • The court had by then, in October 2017, already ordered a ban on the industrial use of petcoke and furnace oil in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
  • The ban on use came after an EPCA Report, including the ban on sale, distribution and use of furnace oil and petcoke in the NCR. Their use is already prohibited in Delhi.
  • The court had even highlighted how petcoke is being imported from countries like the United States and China, which have already stopped using them after due consideration of its harmful effects on human beings and environment.
 

GS III: INFRASTUCTURE

U.S. team begins audit of DGCA

  • United States aviation regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has started a four-day audit of its Indian counterpart, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
  • According to officials, it will cover three key areas – operations, airworthiness and pilots’ licensing mechanism.
  • The FAA audit comes months after a comprehensive safety oversight audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in November 2017.
  • This is the third audit by the FAA since 2013, when the American regulator downgraded the safety ranking of the Indian aviation sector for failure to meet international norms.
  • The FAA found deficiencies in 33 areas, including severe shortage of skilled manpower and lack of regulations and procedures on safety surveillance.
  • The ranking was restored only in 2015.

GS III: AGRICULTURE

Sugar production set to hit a record high next season

  • Cane farmers may face about Rs. 25,000 crore in payment arrears from sugar mills by May 2018, according to industry estimates.
  • With an 8% increase in acreage under sugarcane and adequate rainfall expected to lead to a bumper crop, the resultant production glut could hit farmers hard.
  • In May 2018, mills’ pending dues to farmers had crossed Rs. 22,000 crore, according to the Food Ministry.
  • Soon after the ruling BJP lost a key bypoll in Kairana in the heart of Uttar Pradesh’s sugarcane country, a slew of relief measures, including a sugar production subsidy, were announced.
  • By the end of June 2018, the arrears had dropped to Rs. 18,000 crore and is likely to drop further, partly spurred by the Centre’s sugar relief package.
  • However, as farmers start harvesting and selling this year’s kharif cane crop from October, and mills struggle with their bloated inventory, those dues are likely to rise again to at least Rs. 25,000 crore by the summer of 2019, according to industry sources.
  • One way to reduce the inventory and increase cash flow to mills, and ultimately to farmers, is to increase exports.

GS II: POLITY – BILL/ACT

President clears Bill against witch-hunting

  • President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent to the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015 that the Assam Assembly passed three years ago has rejuvenated the campaign of a barely literate 65-year-old woman, Birubala Rabhaagainst superstition that has claimed scores of lives.
  • Ms. Rabha has been campaigning against witch-hunting after a quack almost killed her son in 1996.
  • She stood her ground despite the threat of excommunication by the local shaman and went on to rescue over 50 women from being branded as witches before launching Mission Birubala against the menace.
  • Ms. Rabha’s inputs had gone into the legislation, making every offence under the Act “cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable.”
  • The Act prescribes a prison term of up to seven years and up to Rs. 5 lakh in fine for calling a person witch.
  • It also has provisions to come with Section 302 of the IPC (punishment for murder) if someone is killed after being branded a witch.
  • Another important person behind the legislation is Director-General of Police Kuladhar Saikia.
  • As Deputy Inspector-General in Kokrajhar district, Assam, he launched Project Prahari in 2001which blended normal policing with social campaigns to check the menace.
  • “The legislation is crucial in the present context in which communication technology is being used to magnify superstitious beliefs, black magic and social prejudices with fatal consequences, primarily affecting the life of marginal groups,” he said.

GS II: SOCIAL – HEALTH

SC declines to stay new rules on tobacco products

  • The Supreme Court declined to stay the operation of new amended rules of the Union Health Ministry directing the manufacturers to have graphic warning images on packets of cigarettes and other tobacco products and helpline numbers for those who wanted to quit the habit.
  • A Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused to grant interim stay on Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Second Amendment Rules, 2018which would come into effect from September 1, 2018.
  • The new rules which have two images depicting the manifestation of cancer as a specified health warning would appear on the package consecutively during the rotation period with an interregnum period of 12 months.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICIES

Faster visas for minorities from three nations

  • Since 2011, nearly 30,000 Pakistanis have been granted long-term visas and, currently, 1,500 such applications are pending, says Home Ministry
  • The Home Ministry has further liberalised the process for granting long-term visas (LTVs) to minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
  • The move comes days after one of its officials was arrested by the Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly extorting money from Pakistani Hindu migrants for their visa extension, visa transfer and grant of citizenship.
  • The Home Ministry has reduced the time limit for security clearance of applicants from 45 days to 21 days.
  • After an application reaches the central system, it’s forwarded to three agencies for verification – the State government, the Intelligence Bureau and the Home Ministry.
  • In 2015, the government granted concessions to Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Afghanistan nationals belonging to the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian and Jain communities, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, in respect of their entry and stay in India without proper documents or after the expiry of relevant documents.
  • It also empowered revenue authorities in some States, not including Assam, to allow them to register properties and take up employment.
  • The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2015 that proposes citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014 has hit a hurdle.
  • There has been strong resistance to the Bill in Assam as it seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh in violation of the Assam Accord, 1985.
  • There have been no exact numbers of such minority refugees from these countries but officials put the figure at around 2 lakh Hindu and Sikh refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan living in India.
  • There are 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in cities such as Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and Jaipur.
  • ostly live in West Bengal anHindu refugees from Bangladesh md the northeastern States.

GS III: DEFENCE

Army to resume M777 trials

  • The Army will resume the trials of the U.S.-made M777 ultralight howitzer in the Pokhran firing range.
  • The trials were suspended in September 2017 after the barrel of a gun burst during firing.
  • In November 2016, India signed a deal with the U.S. government under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme for 145 M777 guns at a cost of $737 million.
  • Following this, two guns were delivered for calibration and making range tables with local ammunition when the barrel burst occurred.
  • A preliminary investigation after the incident had found faulty ammunition supplied by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to be the cause of the accident.
  • As the deal was through the FMS, the trials will be conducted by the U.S. government and India will be an observer. Following the trials, the Army will take formal custody of the guns.
  • The M777 is a 155-mm, 39-calibre towed artillery gun made of titanium and aluminium alloys and weighs just four tonnes, making it transportable slung under helicopters.
  • Of the 145 guns, 25 will be imported while the remaining 120 will be assembled in the country in partnership with the Mahindra group.
  • Deliveries are slated to commence in March 2019.

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

SC to decide if J&K police can book Army men

  • A legal tussle broke out between the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir on whether Army personnel stationed in the restive State can be prosecuted for their action taken in “good faith.”
  • Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, the State submitted it is the duty of a police officer to register an FIR if a cognisable offence has been committed, whether by an Army man or not.
  • The Centre countered that Section 7 of The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act of 1990 lays down that there would be no legal proceedings against Army men for acts done in the course of their duty.
  • The three-judge Bench decided to examine the question of law, which is significant as it would mean the court referring the issue to a Constitution Bench.
  • The case pertains to the incident when Army personnel opened fire on a stone-throwing mob, killing some of them, in J&K’s Shopian.
  • A PIL petition was filed by Vineet Dhanda against the ignominy suffered by Army personnel who are made to face criminal proceedings for doing their duty.
  • Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, for Jammu & Kashmir, said the controversy is covered by the Constitution Bench decisions in the Naga People’s Movement of Human Rights judgment of 1997 and the Lalita Kumari verdict of 2013. The latter order held that “registration of FIR is mandatory… if a cognisable offence is disclosed.”
  • The CJI said it was a “pure question of law” and scheduled a hearing for July 30.

GS II: GOVERNANCE – POLICY

CBI says ‘tainted’ officers are being deputed to it

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation has raised questions about the hurry shown by a committee headed by the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and including senior government secretaries to induct officers into the agency, while stating that its second senior-most official do not have the mandate to represent the CBI chief in such meetings.
  • According to multiple sources, the CBI has filed repeated objections with the CVC, who heads the committee that approves senior-level appointments to the agency, against its hurry in inducting IPS officers facing allegations and investigations.
  • The CBI’s policy division, with the approval of CBI Director Alok Verma, told the CVC that the second senior-most CBI officer, Special Director Rakesh Asthanadid not have the mandate to represent Mr. Verma in the CVC committee meetings because he was under the scanner in several cases.
  • All appointments in the CBI above the rank of Superintendent of Police are approved by a five-member committee chaired by the CVC and including two vigilance commissioners and secretaries of the Home Ministry and the Department of Personnel and Training. The CBI chief is an invitee to the committee and has to be consulted.
  • The committee was under the scanner in 2017 when it recommended promotion of Mr. Asthana, a Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, to the rank of Special Director, overruling the CBI chief’s objections because of Mr. Asthana’s alleged links to a major corruption case in Gujarat.

 

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-IRAN

India, Iran pledge to maintain trade levels

  • Striking a defiant note against the U.S.’s demands to “zero” out oil imports and end engagement with Iran, Indian and Iranian officials said they would “maintain the momentum” of bilateral cooperation between them.
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also travel to Tehran for the next Joint Commission meeting in November 2018, an official statement said, which is the month U.S. sanctions on energy trade would go into effect.
  • On May 8, the United States pulled out of the 6-nation JCPOA, and decided to reimpose sanctions on Iran, due to be implemented in two batches; on August 6 and November 4, with U.S. officials asking all countries including India to bring oil imports from Iran to zero.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA

White House orders direct talks with Taliban

  • The Trump administration has told its top diplomats to seek direct talks with the Taliban, a significant shift in U.S. policy in Afghanistandone in the hope of jump-starting negotiations to end the 17-year war.
  • The Taliban has long said that it will first discuss peace only with the Americans, who toppled its regime in Afghanistan in 2001. But the U.S. has mostly insisted that the Afghan government must take part.
  • Not long after he took office, Mr. Trump reluctantly agreed to provide more resources to his field commanders fighting the Taliban, adding a few thousand troops to bring the U.S. total to about 15,000.
  • But a year later, the insurgent group continues to threaten Afghan districts and cities and inflict heavy casualties on the country’s security forces.
  • The government controls or influences 229 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts, and the Taliban 59. The remaining 119 districts are contested.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – USA-CHINA

China challenges U.S. tariff threat at WTO

  • China announced that it filed a World Trade Organization (WTO) challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest tariff threat, stepping up its diplomatic efforts to counter U.S. pressure in a spiralling technology dispute.
  • The Trump administration has criticised the WTO as unable to deal with the problems posed by China.
  • But it might help Beijing rally support from governments that criticised Mr. Trump for going outside the WTO to impose tariffs on Chinese and other imports.
  • The move is unusually swift, coming less than one week after the U.S. proposed 10% tariffs on a $200 billion list of Chinese goods. Those wouldn’t take effect until at least September.
  • China’s lopsided trade balance means it will run out of U.S. imports for penalty tariffs before Washington does.
  • The U.S. had earlier imposed 25% tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in response to complaints that Beijing pressures companies to hand over technology.
  • Beijing responded immediately by imposing identical penalties on a similar amount of American imports.
  • It has criticised the latest tariff threat but has only about $80 billion of annual imports left for penalties.
  • Beijing is trying to recruit support, so far in vain, from Europe, South Korea and other governments.

GS II: INTERNATIONAL – ASIA

EU warns Sri Lanka over death penalty

  • Ambassadors from the European Union (EU) warned Sri Lanka against ending its 42-year moratorium on capital punishment and said that the island risked losing trade concessions if it went ahead.
  • Recently, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said that repeat drug offenders would be hanged as part of his administration’s new crackdown on narcotics.
  • “The diplomatic missions have requested the President to maintain the moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty and to uphold Sri Lanka’s tradition of opposition to capital punishment,” the EU Ambassadors said in a joint statement. The communiqué was supported by their colleagues from Canada and Norway.
  • Diplomats said they expected Mr. Sirisena to roll back the decision, but should the island go ahead, it would lose preferential access for its exports to the 28-member EU bloc.
  • The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)- a favourable tariff scheme to encourage developing nations to respect human rights – restored by the EU in May 2017 after a seven-year hiatus.

 

GS III: ECONOMY – INDICATORS

IMF cuts India growth forecast for 2018 by a notch to 7.3%

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a growth rate of 7.3% in 2018 and 7.5% in 2019 for India as against 6.7% in 2017, making it the fastest growing country among major economies.
  • However, the latest growth rate projection for India is slightly less – 0.1 percentage point in 2018 and 0.3 percentage points in 2019 – than its April projections.
  • India’s growth rate is expected to rise from 6.7% in 2017 to 7.3% in 2018 and 7.5% in 2019, as drags from the currency exchange initiative and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax fade, said the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) update.
  • The projection is 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points lower for 2018 and 2019, respectively, than in the April WEO, reflectingnegative effects of higher oil prices on domestic demand and faster than-anticipated monetary policy tightening due to higher expected inflation, it said.
  • Despite this slight downgrade in its projections, India continues to outperform China, IMF’s WEO update figures reflect.
  • Growth in China is projected to moderate from 6.9% in 2017 to 6.6% in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019, as regulatory tightening of the financial sector takes hold and external demand softens, the report said.
  • The IMF said global growth is projected to reach 3.9% in 2018 and 2019, in line with the forecast of the April 2018 WEO.

GS III: S&T – IT – DATA PROTECTION

‘Users own data, not entities storing them’

  • Telecom regulator TRAI said each user owned his or her data collected by or stored with the entities in the digital ecosystem that includes devices and applications.
  • The entities, it stressed, are mere custodians of the data, while pointing out that the existing framework for protecting the personal data of telecom users is not sufficient.
  • In its recommendations on ‘privacy, security and ownership of the data in the telecom sector’, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has said the right to choice, consent, data portability, and the right to be forgotten ought to be given to consumers.
  • Along with running consumer awareness programmes, the regulator has suggested that multilingual, easy to understand, short templates of agreements or terms and conditions be made mandatory. It has also recommended prohibiting use of “preticked boxes” to gain users’ consent.
  • TRAI suggested that device manufacturers incorporate provisions so that users can delete pre-installed applications if they so decide.
  • Additionally, the regulator has suggested that all entities in the digital ecosystem that control or process users’ personal data such as devices, operating systems, browsers as well as applications, be brought under a data protection framework.
  • “Till such time a general data protection law is notified by the government, the existing rules/licence conditions applicable to TSPs for protection of users’ privacy be made applicable to all the entities in the digital ecosystem,” it suggested.
  • The government has formed a committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna, under the Ministry and Electronics and IT, which is working on the country’s first data protection framework.

GS III: S&T – HEALTH

Nano-bubbles triggered by X-ray can target cancer

  • Scientists have developed nano-bubbles that can deliver drugs in the body when triggered by standard X-rays and may pave the way for a new range of cancer treatments.
  • The tiny bubbles, known as liposomesare commonly used in pharmacology to encapsulate drugs, making them more effective in the treatment of disease.
  • Researchers were able to engineer these liposomes to discharge their drug cargo on-demand, once activated by standard X-rays.
  • Initial testing has shown this technique to be highly efficient in killing bowel cancer cells.
  • “Made out of similar material as cell membranes, these ‘bubbles’ are relatively simple to prepare, can be filled with appropriate medications and then injected into specific parts of the body,” said a researcher involved.
  • The radiation from the X-ray causes the verteporfin to react and to produce highly reactive singlet oxygen, which then destabilises the liposomal membrane, causing the release of the drug, researchers said.

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