Today Current Affairs: 8th July 2021 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Kappa And Lambda Variants : Coronavirus
Kappa and Lambda variants have been labelled as Variants of Interest (VoI) by WHO.
- Kappa was first detected in India and more than 3,500 of the close to 30,000 cumulative samples submitted by the country to the GISAID initiative are of this variant.
- In the last 60 days, the Kappa variant has made up 3 per cent of all samples submitted by India.
- India, in fact, leads the GISAID table for Kappa submissions and is followed by the UK, US, Canada, etc.
- Lambda is the newest VoI identified by the UN health agency. It was first identified in Peru in December last year and has so far been detected in samples from about 26 countries shared with GISAID.
- The highest number of samples submitted is from Chile followed by the US. Peru is third on the list.
Variant of Interest:
- This means that the genetic changes involved are predicted or known to affect transmissibility, disease severity, or immune escape.
- It is also an acknowledgement of the fact that the variant has caused significant community transmission in multiple countries and population groups.
National Centre For Biological Sciences (NCBS):
A research paper by scientists at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), announcing a breakthrough in the field of chemical biology, and published in the prestigious Nature Chemical Biology (NCB), has been retracted as its key findings were manipulated.
- National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bangalore, Karnataka, is a research centre specialising in biological research.
- It is a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) under the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India.
- On October 5, 2020, the paper “Discovery of iron-sensing bacterial riboswitches” was published online in the NCB. The publication was announced in an NCBS press release on October 6, 2020.
- The finding was significant as it announced the discovery of a new class of RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecules that could detect iron. Thus far, it was thought, iron could be detected only by specialised protein.
- RNA molecules, it has emerged, could detect nickel, cobalt, manganese but being able to detect iron, a key element that is vital for governing many biochemical processes, opened the possibility of designing RNA-based sensors.
INS Tabar Conducts Military Exercise With Italian Navy:
INS Tabar joined Italian Navy and entered Port of Naples on July 3 as part of ongoing deployment in Mediterranean.
- Commanding officer Captain Mahesh Mangipudi called on senior officers of Prefect of Naples Authority, regional Italian navy headquarters and coast guard headquarters during the stay.
- While returning, Tabar also undertook a Maritime Partnership Exercise with ITS Antonio Marceglia in Tyrrhenian Sea on July 4 & 5.
- This exercise covered several naval operations such as air defence procedures, communication drills, replenishment at sea, and cross deck helo operations by day and night.
- Exercise was mutually beneficial for enhancing interoperability and consolidating combined operations against maritime threats.
- It is the third of Talwar-class frigate in Indian Navy. It was commissioned on April 19, 2004 in Kaliningrad, Russia.
- It is a vessel in Talwar class and is armed with supersonic BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles.
- It is also equipped with Barak 1 missiles.
The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has launched the Online Course Mobile App “Matsya Setu” for fish farmers.
- The app was developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA) and National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB).
- It aims to disseminate the latest freshwater aquaculture technologies to the aqua farmers of the country, thus increasing the productivity and income.
- Aquaculture is breeding, raising, and harvesting fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants.
- India is the second major producer of fish through aquaculture in the world.
- It has a focus on grow-out culture of commercially important fishes like carp, catfish, scampi, murrel, ornamental fish, pearl farming etc.
- It can be used to disseminate the latest information on different schemes among the stakeholders, especially fishers, fish farmers, youth and entrepreneurs across the country, and facilitate ease of doing business.
Authorised Economic Operators (AEO):
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) has inaugurated the online filing of Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) applications.
- The web application is designed to ensure continuous real-time and digital monitoring of physically filed AEO applications for timely intervention and expedience.
- AbAEO is a programme (2007) under the aegis of the World Customs Organization (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards to secure and facilitate global trade.
- It aims to enhance international supply chain security and facilitate the movement of goods.
- Under this, an entity engaged in international trade is approved by WCO as compliant with supply chain security standards and granted AEO status.
- An entity with an AEO status is considered a ‘secure’ trader and a reliable trading partner.
- Benefits of AEO status include expedited clearance times, fewer examinations, improved security and communication between supply chain partners.
- AEO is a voluntary programme.
Indian AEO Programme:
- The AEO Programme was introduced as a pilot project in 2011.
- The security standards detailed in WCO SAFE Framework are the basis of the Indian AEO programme.
- There is a three tier AEO Status for Exporters and Importers.
- The three tiers are AEO T1, AEO T2, AEO T3, where AEO T3 is the highest level of accreditation.
Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) In Jharkhand:
According to a recent survey, more than 55% did not receive Supplementary Nutrition under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in Jharkhand even once in the first six months of 2021.
Vulnerability of Jharkhand:
- As per National Family Health Survey-4 data, every second child in the state is stunted and underweight and every third child is affected by stunting and every 10th child is affected from severe wasting and around 70% children are anemic.
- The Umbrella Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It was launched in 1975.
Six Schemes under Umbrella ICDS:
- Anganwadi Services Scheme
- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana:
- National Creche Scheme:
- Scheme for Adolescent Girls
- Child Protection Schem
- POSHAN Abhiyaan:
Bhalia Variety Of Wheat:
In a major boost to wheat exports, the first shipment of Geographical Indication (GI) certified Bhalia variety of wheat was exported today to Kenya and Sri Lanka from Gujarat.
- The GI certified wheat has high protein content and is sweet in taste.
- The crop is grown mostly across Bhal region of Gujarat which includes Ahmadabad, Anand, Kheda, Bhavanagar, Surendranagar, Bharuch districts.
- The unique characteristic of the wheat variety is that grown in the rainfed condition without irrigation and cultivated in around two lakh hectares of agricultural land in Gujarat.
- The Bhalia variety of wheat received GI certification in July, 2011. The registered proprietor of GI certification is Anand Agricultural University, Gujarat.
Council Of Ministers:
The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed the allocation of portfolios among the new members of the Council of Ministers on 7 July 2021.
- Articles 74 & 75 of the constitution of India deal with the Council of Ministers and Prime Minister.
- These articles have below provisions.
- Article 74(1): There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advise the President who shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice.
- The president may require the council of ministers to reconsider such advice and president shall act in accordance with such advice reconsidered.
- Article 74(2): What advice was tendered to the president cannot be inquired into any court.
- Article 75(1): The Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- Article 75(2): The Ministers shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
- Article 75(3): The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the House of the People.
- Article 75(4): Before a Minister enters upon his office, the President shall administer to him the oaths of office and of secrecy according to the forms set out for the purpose in the Third Schedule
- Article 75(5): A Minister must be a member of any of the houses within 6 months.
- Article 75(6): Parliament will decide the salary and allowances of the Ministers and until parliament decides, so shall be as specified in the Second Schedule.
World’s First Database Of Genomic Variants Of Oral Cancer:
DBT-National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG), Kalyani has created world’s first database of genomic variants of oral cancer. NIBMG has made this database publicly-accessible.
- dbGENVOC is a browsable online database of GENomic Variants of Oral Cancer and is a free resource.
- First release of dbGENVOC contains
- ~24 million somatic and germline variants derived from whole exome sequences of 100 Indian oral cancer patients and whole genome sequences of 5 oral cancer patients from India,
- somatic variation data from 220 patient samples drawn from the USA and analyzed by TCGA-HNSCC project and
- manually curated variation data of 118 patients from recently published peer-reviewed publications.
- Oral cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among men in India, largely fuelled by tobacco-chewing. Tobacco-chewing causes changes in the genetic material of cells in the oral cavity. These changes (mutations) precipitate oral cancer.
- The National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG) has been established as an autonomous institution by the Government of India, under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology.
- This is the first institution in India explicitly devoted to research, training, translation & service and capacity-building in Biomedical Genomics.
- It is located in Kalyani, West Bengal, India, near Kolkata.
Central Information Commission (CIC):
The Supreme Court has directed the Central government to place on record the latest information on the appointment of Information Commissioners, vacancies and pendency of cases in the Central Information Commission (CIC).
- A plea has sought directions to the government authorities for implementing the top court’s directions in the 2019 judgment.
- The apex court had passed a slew of directions to the Central and State governments to fill vacancies across Central and State Information Commissions in a transparent and timely manner.
- The court had given three months to the Centre to fill the vacancies that existed in the CIC.
Central Information Commission:
- Established by the Central Government in 2005, under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (2005).
- The Commission consists of a Chief Information Commissioner and not more than ten Information Commissioners.
- They are appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the Prime Minister as Chairperson, the leader of the single largest Opposition party in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister.
- The Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner shall hold office for such term as prescribed by the Central Government or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- They are not eligible for reappointment.