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When:
November 5, 2016 @ 1:00 am
2016-11-05T01:00:00+05:30
2016-11-05T01:15:00+05:30

NEWS

5 November 2016

Sr. No.

Topic

News

1.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-CHINA 

Face-off at Leh ends as India finishes work on irriation project

2.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ECUADOR

Dhruv deal with Ecuador crash-lands

3.

GS III: S&T – HEALTH 

Mcr-1 isolated in India, a further chapter in antibiotic resistance

4.

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

Supreme Court to hear petition on making yoga compulsory in school

5.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT

‘Make enforcement stricter’

6.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-BANGLADESH

Hindu villages come under attack again

7.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-TURKEY

Turkey wants India to start free trade pact talks soon

8.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT

Global conservation team visits Odisha’s Bhitarkanikapark

9.

GS III: S&T

‘Zebrafish offers hope for spinal cord repair’

 GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-CHINA

Face-off at Leh ends as India finishes work on irrigation project

  • The face-off between the Indo Tibetan Border Police Force and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the Line of Actual Control in Leh’sDemchok area endedafter an irrigation project, to which the Chinese had objected to, was completed.
  • The stand-off ended hours before National Security Adviser AjitDoval met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Hyderabad to discuss measures to improve bilateral ties.
  • Around 50 Chinese Army personnel had come close to the Indian side of the LAC and refused to go back as they objected to an irrigation project under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) where work for linking a village with ‘Hot spring’ was under way.
  •  The Chinese troops had taken positions and demanded that work be stopped as either side needs to take permission before undertaking any work, a claim disputed by the Indian side, which says that as per the agreement between the two countries, information about construction needs to be shared only if it was meant for defence purposes.
  •    This is the first time since the 2014 incident when the Chinese Army had come deep inside the Indian territory in Demchok to protest an ongoing irrigation project.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-ECUADOR

Dhruv deal with Ecuador crash-lands

  •  In a clear indication of its ambition to emerge as a key player in the global defence market, India began exports of its indigenous Dhruv helicopters in 2009 to Ecuador with much fanfare.
  •   Almost seven years later, however, the expectations have been severely belied — Ecuador is planning to sell off three remaining helicopters, after four crashed; the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has now moved a local court.
  •   Ecuador had procured the seven Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) in two batches — five in 2009 and two in 2011 — in a deal worth $ 45.2 million.
  •    But following the four crashes, Ecuador unilaterally terminated the contract with HAL in October 2015.
  •   Of the four helicopters that crashed, two had been attributed to pilot error,one was due to a mechanical failure while the reason for the fourth crash is not clear.
  •   After the termination, HAL had offered free maintenance beyond the contractual obligations but “they wanted more.”
  •   Defence sources said HAL was responsible for the maintenance of the choppers for 24 months after which Ecuadorean personnel, who had been trained by HAL, were expected to take over.
  •  Ecuador had also complained about lack of spares and maintenance and the reasons cited for contract termination were “non-compliance of the seller of some of the obligations contracted by virtue of the present contract” and “value of the fines exceeding the amount of guarantee of faithful compliance of the contract.”
  •   HAL officials rejected the charges and said enough spares were supplied and stocked in the country during the contract period.
  •  TheDhruv, indigenously designed and developed by HAL, is powered by a Shakti engine, jointly developed by HAL and Turbomeca of France.
  •    Over 200 of these choppers are currently in service in India.

GS III: S&T – HEALTH

Mcr-1 isolated in India, a further chapter in antibiotic resistance

  • Indian researchers have isolated a strain of E.Coli bacteria, carrying a new gene (mcr -1), described previously as ‘truly pan-drug resistant’.
  • It is resistant to the last mile antibiotic the human race currently has access to —colistin.
  •  While colistin resistance had already been detected in India, it existed thus far only as mutations in the chromosomal/genetic path.
  •  Now, mutations do not spread from patient to patient.
  •   With mcr-1, however, the gene is found in the plasmid medium, a small DNA molecule outside of the chromosomal DNA,meaning the infection can spread in hospitals, and the community.
  •   “The emergence of plasmid-mediated colistin resistance heralds the breach of the last group of antibiotics, polymyxins.”
  •  Mcr-1 has already been reported in half a dozen countries, and the indications are the same as colistin resistance, as is the treatment protocol.
  •   Whenever an antibiotic is used/overused/ misused, resistance develops. A mix of bacteria enters the sewage, contaminates drinking water and enters the gut of a healthy individual, making him/her resistant to those bugs. This resistance moves from one level to another. Mcr-1 is therefore, inevitable.
  •  As with the NDM1 superbug that was identified in an article in the Lancet in 2010, wherein it was estimated to be present between two and three per cent in the bacterial population. Now it has grown exponentially.

GS II: POLITY – JUDICIARY

Supreme Court to hear petition on making yoga compulsory in school

  •   Over a year after a California appeals court declared yoga “secular” and not a means to advance or inhibit Hinduism, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea on whether yoga is an inherently religious ritual or a secular pursuit for good health and a dignified life.
  •     A Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur has agreed to hear on November 7 whether yoga should be made compulsory for students of Class one to eight.
  •    The petition, which quotes the U.S. court ruling, has also sought a direction to the government to frame a National Yoga Policy, saying that right to health was part of the right to lead a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
  •    The plea, which has made the Ministry of Human Resource Development, NCERT, NCTE and the CBSE as parties, sought a direction to “provide standard textbooks of ‘Yoga and Health Education’ for students of Class one to eight, keeping in spirit various fundamental rights such as right to life, education and equality.”
  •     “There are about 20 crore children throughout the country studying in primary and junior classes at the cost of public exchequer. Yoga should be taught to them as a compulsory subject as per the National Curriculum Framework 2005 notified under Section 7(6) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009,” the plea said.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT

‘Make enforcement stricter’

  •  Union Environment Secretary called for special attention to the enforcement of orders issued by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
  • In December 2015, the CPCB had issued a 42-point guideline to the States to tackle air pollution. There were short-, medium- and long-term measures.
  •   Because the enforcement mechanism is still weak, the States have been asked to make enforcement stricter and take steps that need to be taken.
  •    Delhi is currently in the midst of one of the worst bouts of pollution.

GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-BANGLADESH

Hindu villages come under attack again

  •  Four days after Hindu temples and houses were attacked in Bangladesh’s Brahmanbariadistrict, extremists targeted the minority community again.
  •    Police said several houses were set on fire at Madhyaparha and Dakhshinparha in the Upazila town at dawn. No one was injured in the incident.
  •     On October 30, over a 100 people were injured when a mob of around 3,000 local Muslims demolished at least 10 temples and vandalised hundreds of houses of the Hindu community in the area.
  •   The two-hour mayhem followed a Facebook post from the account of a local Hindu youth, which the attackers said did “hurt the religious sentiment” of the Muslims.
  •    The youth, Rasraj Das, a fisherman, had already apologised to Muslims saying his account had been hacked.
  • ·   Meanwhile, a team of the National Human Rights Commission, which visited the affected area, has said the attack was deliberate and aimed at grabbing land from the minority community.

 GS II: BILATERAL – INDIA-TURKEY

Turkey wants India to start free trade pact talks soon

  •   Turkey wants India to start talks on a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) soon and said the ongoing political turmoil will not impact foreign investment flows.
  •   Turkish companies want to make India a gateway for improving business ties in South Asia.
  •    Indian companies can use Turkey as a hub to expand operations in the European Union (with which Turkey has a Customs Union agreement), the Middle East and Africa.
  •   In FY’16, India-Turkey trade had shrunk nearly 28 per cent year-on-year to $4.91 billion of which India’s exports to Turkey were $4.14 billion (contraction of 22.7 per cent) while Turkey’s exports to India fell 47 per cent to $776 million.
  •  Asked if Turkey is planning special measures to protect investors from losses due to political unrest, Turkish representative said: “Investors have been coming even after the (failed) July coup attempt. The month following the coup, there was $1 billion worth of capital flows into Turkey.

GS III: ENVIRONMENT

Global conservation team visits Odisha’s Bhitarkanikapark

  •  A two-member technical evaluation mission team of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), deputed by UNESCO, visited the Bhitarkanika National Park.
  •  The visit is to perform field assessment of the unique mangrove ecosystem of the parkwhich figured on thetentative list of future heritage sites of UNESCO in 2009 and made its way to the final list in 2014.
  •   The national park presently figures in the listed of protected wetlands under the Ramsar Convention.
  •    The Odisha government had submitted a dossier, compiled by Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India,recommending to UNESCO that the park be declared a World Heritage Site.
  • In 1984, UNESCO had declared the Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha as a World Heritage Site.
  •    “We hope Bhitarkanika gets the tag on merit and the visit of IUCN team is a move towards this direction. This will enable the park to get more funding from the government and international agencies and will also attract more tourists,” said a divisional forest officer.
  •    The biodiversity, ecosystem and local human habitation and socio-economic condition of locals and their dependence on forest produce will be assessed.
  •     Bhitarkanika is a unique ecosystem, highly dynamic and at the same time fragile. The delta, the river mouth, the sea, mangrove forest, avian fauna, reptiles, amphibians and fauna and flora contribute to the park’s biological diversity.
  •    In 1974, the Ministry of Forests, in collaboration with UNDP, had started a crocodile hatchery project at Dangmal in the park.The crocodile population in the park has increased from 96 in 1974 to 1,665 in January 2016.
  •    Wheelers’ Island and the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary are also on the itinerary.

 

 

 

Wheeler Island:·        Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, is an island off the coast of Odisha, India, approximately 150 kilometres from the state capital Bhubaneshwar.·        The Integrated Test Range missile testing facility is located on the island.·        The island is about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) in length and 390 acres (1.6 km2) in area.·        The nearest port is Dhamra Port.

 

 GS III: S&T

‘Zebrafish offers hope for spinal cord repair’

  •  The Zebrafish, which can completely regenerate its severed spinal cord, might hold promise for research into tissue repair in humans, researchers said.
  •    Scientists are looking at one protein in particular that is key to this accomplishment in the fish, the researchers said.
  •      When the severed spinal cord of the zebrafish undergoes regeneration, a bridge forms.
  •     Nerve cells follow and within eight weeks new nerve tissue has plugged the gap, allowing the fish to reverse their paralysis completely.
  •    To figure out what is going on, scientists searched for all of the genes whose activity abruptly changed after spinal cord injury. Seven of these were found to code for proteins secreted from cells.
  •    One of these proteins, called CTGF — connective tissue growth factor — was intriguing because its levels rose in supporting cells that formed the bridge in the first two weeks following injury.
  •  When the protein was deleted genetically, those fish failed to regenerate.
  •    People and zebrafish share many genes, and human CTGF protein is nearly 90 percent similar in its amino acid components to that of zebra fish.
  •    Inserting human CTGF into the injury site in fish helped the regeneration process. “The fish go from paralysed to swimming in the tank. The effect of the protein is striking,” said a researcher involved.
  •    But CTGF alone is probably not enough for people to regenerate their spinal cords, the team said. The process is more complex in mammals, in part because scar tissue forms around an injury.

 

 

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