March 25,2018

Quiz-March 23,2018
March 25, 2018
March 26,2018
March 26, 2018

Topics list:

  1. National and International Issues on
    1. Economic Development
    2. Social Development
    3. Industrial Development
  2. Energy and Environment
    1. Energy
    2. Environment
  3. Information and Communication Technology
    1. Technology
    2. Application

Topic 1:Industrial development

New Consumer Protection Bill 2018

The Government introduced new Consumer Protection Bill, 2018:

Highlights:

  • Establishment of an executive agency to be known as the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of the consumers and will be empowered to investigate, recall, refund and impose penalties;
  • rovision for product liability action in cases of personal injury, death, or property damage caused by or resulting from any product
  • Provision for mediation as an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) making the process of dispute adjudication simpler and quicker and simplification of the process of adjudication by the Consumer Fora

Read more at: PIB

Nanomotors for targeted cancer therapy

The researchers have developed a new type of zinc-ferrite–coated magnetic nanomotors that are highly stable and can generate localised heating to kill cancerous cells.

Highlights:

  • Measuring just about 3 microns in size, the magnetic nanomotors can be manoeuvred in different biological environments like blood, tissue etc using rotating magnetic fields of less than hundred Gauss (safe level for human beings) and targeted to the area of interest in the body.
  • They are popular due to their non-invasive nature and the absence of the need for chemical fuel to propel them.
  • Inject these ferric nanomotors directly into the tumour or guide them to the area of interest using magnetic fields
  • Nanomotors of 2 mg/ml caused about 50% cell death in 20 minutes
  • The targeted therapy could have great implications for cancer therapeutics

Read more at:The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Olive Ridley turtles and magnetic power

One of the magnificent sights to behold in India is the arrival and nesting of tens of thousands of Olive Ridley turtles on the Gahirmatha seashore of Odisha every year as clockwork.The temperature, the season, the natural environmental resources all fit perfectly for this grand continuity of life.

Built in GPS:

  • These animals have tiny magnets in their bodies. This magnet arises due to the presence of a material called magnetite (an iron-based mineral containing Fe3O4).
  • Geomagnetic imprinting: a unifying hypothesis of long-distance natal homing in salmon and sea turtles

Biochemical approach:

  • The key molecule here is a protein called cryptochrome, which is found in the retina of the eye.
  • When blue light falls on this proteins, a pair of free radicals are generated, which do not quench each other (as free radicals normally do) but form an ‘entangled pair’, which generates a tiny magnetic piece.
  • And it is this tiny molecular compass that aligns and interact with the earth’s magnetic field, leading to the movement of the animal.

Read more at:The Hindu

Damaged reefs turn butterflyfish

Butterflyfish change their behaviour to adapt to coral death caused by climate change.

Highlights:

  • In bleached coral reefs that host less food resources, these fish change their diets and eating patterns to adapt to reef damages caused by climate change.
  • In resource-poor reefs, fish ate coral species that they otherwise clearly avoided in rich reefs like Kavaratti.
  • Fish spent more time travelling and less time searching for food in resource-poor reefs, making food procurement both difficult and energetically expensive.

About Coral bleaching:

Coral bleaching occurs when coral polyps expel algae that live inside their tissues.As the algae provide the coral with up to 90% of its energy, after expelling the algae the coral begins to starve. After bleaching, some corals may recover, while some die.Above-average sea water temperatures caused by global warming have been identified as a leading cause for coral bleaching worldwide.

Read more at: The Hindu

Earth Hour 2018

Earth Hour is the world’s largest movement and shines a light on the need for climate action.

Highlights:

  • Every year since it’s induction, people around the globe commit to turning off the lights for one hour
  • Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
  • The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour, as a symbol of commitment to the planet.
  • It was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007

‘Give Up’ initiative:

  • WWF’s Living Planet Report 2016 revealed a 58 % decline in global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles between 1970 and 2012
  • To address this issue, WWF-India launched the #GIVEUPTOGIVEBACK initiative, starting with this year’s Earth Hour.
  • The campaign aims to inspire organisations, institutions and individuals to make the choice to curb some habits, practices and lifestyles, burdening both lives and the environment and inspire them to choose alternatives to connect to earth.
  • The ‘Give Up’ initiative starts conversations at different levels and for different agendas and is a lens and tool that organisations can use for shifting organisational culture and behaviour change, for economising operations and reducing costs.

Read more at: The Hindu

Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018

Underlining the effort to protect the environment and human health from infectious bio-medical waste, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has said that Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016 Rules have been amended to improve compliance and strengthen the implementation of environmentally sound management of biomedical waste in India.

Salient features of Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018:

  • Bio-medical waste generators including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, dispensaries, veterinary institutions, animal houses, pathological laboratories, blood banks, health care facilities, and clinical establishments will have to phase out chlorinated plastic bags (excluding blood bags) and gloves by March 27, 2019.
  • All healthcare facilities shall make available the annual report on its website within a period of two years from the date of publication of the Bio-Medical Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018.
  • Operators of common bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facilities shall establish bar coding and global positioning system for handling of bio-medical waste in accordance with guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board by March 27, 2019.
  • The State Pollution Control Boards/ Pollution Control Committees have to compile, review and analyze the information received and send tis information to the Central Pollution Control Board
  • Every occupier, i.e. a person having administrative control over the institution and the premises generating biomedical waste shall pre-treat the laboratory waste, microbiological waste, blood samples, and blood bags through disinfection or sterilization on-site in the manner as prescribed by the World Health Organization

Read more at: PIB

Assam’s rare captive-bred vultures face a drug problem

The last of the nature’s scavengers in Assam, a suitable habitat for vultures, are battling toxic chemicals in livestock carcasses. And the ‘meal of death’ that is killing them is also delaying freedom for vultures being reared in captivity in the State.

Highlights:

  • The Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre (VCBC) at Rani is one of four in India that the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) set up more than a decade ago in association with State Forest Departments.
  • The digestive system of vultures, experts say, is so evolved that they can tolerate bacteria and natural toxins in putrefying meat.
  • They are vulnerable to chemicals such as diclofenac, present in the carcasses of cattle that were injected with the painkiller.

Vulture species in India:

  • India hosts nine vulture species, five of them the highly endangered Gyps species. Assam is home to six, including winter visitors from the Himalayas — the Himalayan and Eurasian griffons.
  • Vultures take time to mature, pair for life, breed once a year, and live up to 70 years – making captive breeding efforts a challenge, and their decline serious.

About Diclofenac:

Diclofenac  is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) taken or applied to reduce inflammation and as an analgesic reducing pain in certain conditions. Diclofenac for veterinary use was banned in 2005  however quacks use the 30 ml vials for veterinary use, with fatal consequences for vultures.

Read more at: The Hindu

Electronic Waste Management:

The Central Pollution Control Board will this year begin random checks on mobile phones, laptops and other electronic goods to check whether their constituent metals exceed safety norms.

Highlights:

  • A directive called Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), officials will buy phones, disassemble them and, through chemical tests, check whether the levels of lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, mercury and polybrominated diphenyl ethers exceed prescribed norms.
  • If a company falls foul of the rules, it will have to withdraw its line of products or pay fines
  • The decision followed key amendments to the Electronic Waste Management Rules (EWR) formalised
  • The EWR, first specified in 2016, required companies to ensure that at least 30% of their e-waste was collected by 2017, these targets have now been relaxed.
  • Additionally, manufacturers, who had not been in the business for long, now have less ambitious collection requirements.

Rules for recycling:

  • According to the older rules that became effective from May 2017, electronic goods manufacturers were required to ensure that at least 30% of their phones, fridges, laptops, washing machines sold, and of a certain vintage, had to be recycled through authorised channels.
  • This has now been brought down to 10% and “new” recyclers, meaning those who on an average had been in the business for less than the average life cycle of their products, have to ensure only 5% of their 2017-2018 sales are collected and recycled.
  • In 2021-2022, this will increase to 10% of sales and bigger and established manufacturers will have to ensure that 40% of their e-waste is brought back.
  • Non-compliance entails fines of up to Rs. 1 lakh per violation and Rs. 5,000 per day of non-compliance under the Environment Protection Act

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 3 : ICT

Radar speed signs to slow down drivers

The police are now planning to use technology that will appeal to drivers in the hope that they will slow down.

Highlights:

  • LED display boards will be installed on the medians of key roads. These will display a vehicle’s speed in real time against the permitted limit.
  • These are called driver feedback systems that work on radar or Doppler technology.
  • They register the speed of an approaching vehicle 50 metres away. This will be flashed to the driver on the display board
  • The purpose of radar-speed signs is to make drivers aware that they are crossing the limit

Read more at:The Hindu

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