February 28, 2024

Daily Current Affairs

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  • The ‘Investor Information and Analytics Platform’ was launched recently.
  • This platform will act as a one-stop shop for startups to seamlessly access venture capitalists (VCs) and investors networks, government schemes and several other components of the startup landscape for all stakeholders.
  • This platform has been developed by the researchers at the Centre for Research on Start-ups and Risk Financing (CREST) of IIT Madras.
  • An important feature of this unique platform is “StartupGPT” which is an AI-based conversational platform whose function is to help ease information access for those who are navigating exhaustive data.
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  • India-born media executive Dr Samir Shah was confirmed as the new BBC chairman after his selection cleared the stages of scrutiny to be approved by King Charles III.
  • Shah, who has worked in UK broadcasting for over 40 years, was picked as the government’s preferred candidate in December last year and went on to be quizzed by cross-party MPs of the House of Commons Media Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for his pre-appointment scrutiny.
  • The 72-year-old has now been confirmed for four-year term role to take charge as the public broadcaster’s first Indian-origin Chair from March 4 until March 2028.
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  • Algeria recently inaugurated the “Africa’s biggest mosque” and the third-biggest mosque in the world, following over a decade of construction and preparation.
  • The Great Mosque of Algiers is situated in the capital, with a minaret towering 265 meters (869 feet) high and a large prayer room.
  • The entire facility could host over 120,000 worshippers.
  • This follows the largest two mosques –holy mosque ‘Masjid al-Haram’ in Mecca and the prophet’s mosque ‘Al-Masjid an-Nabawi’ in Medina, both located in Saudi Arabia.
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INDRA RV25: 240N

  • Raghu Vamsi Machine Tools Pvt Ltd, a Hyderabad-based manufacturer of high precision engineering components has developed a fully indigenous micro turbojet engineINDRA RV25: 240N.
  • Though the engine, developed in academic partnership with IIT-Hyderabad, has primarily been developed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, it can also have applications in air taxis, jetpacks, auxiliary power units, range extenders and power generation in future.
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Garbhini- GA 2 model

  • An India-specific artificial intelligence model to precisely determine the gestational age (GA) of a foetus in the second and third trimester of pregnancy, has been developed.
  • The model has been designed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad.
  • It is part of an interdisciplinary group for advanced research on birth outcomes — the DBT India initiative (GARBH-Ini) programme.
  • The Garbhini-GA2 is the first late-trimester GA estimation model to be developed and validated using Indian population data.
    • Currently, models used for the Western population are in use which could prove erroneous when applied in the later part of pregnancy due to variations in the growth of the foetus in the Indian population.
  • The Garbhini-GA2 accurately estimates the foetus’ age, reducing error by almost three times.
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Homosep Atom by Solinas

  • India’s first septic tank/manhole cleaning robot, offering an end-to-end solution to eliminate manual scavenging, is strengthening the swachhata abhiyan in different corners of the country.
  • The technology called Homosep Atom developed by the startup Solinas, incubated in the Department of Science and Technology (DST)-Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of IIT Madras, solves manual cleaning methods and transforms it to robotic cleaning methods.
  • It has integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) to inspect, clean, and manage confined space for sanitation purposes.
  • It has reached 16 cities in different parts of India and empowers extensive blade cleanings, solid waste desilting, suction and storage at one device; thereby reducing the cost of owning multiple assets and promotes robotic cleaning in sewers.

ABOUT SOLINAS

  • Solinas is a deep-tech and climate tech startup born out of IIT Madras, founded with the intent to solve the challenges that revolutionizes the water and sanitation sector and improves the climatic conditions.
  • DST-Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) are established in Academic /Technical /R&D Institutions as part of NIDHI programme to support and nurture knowledge driven innovative start-ups into successful enterprises.
  • The startup specialises in developing miniature robots, including India’s 1st 90mm water robot and 120mm sewer robot, capable of navigating through pipelines below 100mm to address contamination challenges in water-sewer pipelines.
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Operation AMRITH

  • Kerala recently initiated Operation AMRITH (Antimicrobial Resistance Intervention for Total Health).
  • This programme enforces the original H1 rule, mandating a doctor’s prescription for acquiring any class of antibiotics.

BACKGROUND

  • In 2011, the Indian government introduced the H1 rule to prohibit the over-the-counter (OTC) sales of antibiotics without a prescription, responding to the growing concern over antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
    • Major objective of Schedule H1 drug is to control the un-restricted use of antibiotics.
    • This specified list of drugs should be sold by chemists only after retaining a copy of the prescription by them.
    • The supply of a drug specified in Schedule H1 shall be recorded in a separate register.
    • The packs of these drugs should have a warning in a box with a red border on the label.
  • In 2013, following the Chennai Declaration document and initiative by medical societies in India, the government modified the rule to limit the OTC restriction to second- and third-line antibiotics, allowing the sale of first-line antibiotics without a prescription.

RELATED

  • MoHFW had launched Red Line awareness campaign on Antimicrobials Resistance, urging people not to use medicines marked with a red vertical line, including antibiotics, without a doctor’s prescription.
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  • The Centre launched an initiative to improve nutrition in adolescent girls using Ayurveda.
  • The project for anaemia control under Mission Utkarsh will be a joint public health initiative by the Ministries of Ayush and Women and Child Development.
  • It would be launched in five aspirational districts first as a pilot project.
  • In the first phase, the focus may be on improving the anaemic status of adolescent girls (14-18 years) in five aspirational districts of five states
    • Assam (Dhubri), Chhattisgarh (Bastar), Jharkhand (Paschimi Singhbhum), Maharashtra (Gadchiroli), and Rajasthan (Dhaulpur).
  • Under Mission Utkarsh, 15 central ministries or departments will work to elevate districts at the bottom, to state and national averages.
  • This project will cover approximately 10,000 Anganwadi Centres in the five districts.
  • The aim is nutritional improvement among approximately 95,000 adolescent girls in anaemia prone districts.
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Gaganyaan Crew

  • The names of four astronauts, part of the country’s human space flight mission Gaganyaan, were revealed recently.
  • The PM presented astronaut wings to the four selected for the space flight during an event at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • The four astronaut-designates selected for the Gaganyaan mission are
    • Group Captain Prasanth Balakrishnan Nair, Group Captain Ajit Krishnan, Group Captain Angad Pratap and Wing Commander Shubhanshu Shukla.
  • The astronauts chosen for the mission have been trained in technical knowledge as well as physical fitness to ensure they stay well during the mission.

ABOUT GAGANYAAN MISSION

  • Gaganyaan project envisages demonstration of human spaceflight capability by launching crew of 3 members to an orbit of 400 km for a 3 days mission and bring them back safely to earth, by landing in Indian sea waters.
  • LVM3 rocket is identified as the launch vehicle for Gaganyaan mission.
    • It consists of solid stage, liquid stage and cryogenic stage.
    • All systems in LVM3 launch vehicle are re-configured to meet human rating requirements and christened Human Rated LVM3.
  • The Gaganyaan mission is the most expensive scientific mission ever undertaken by India and is going to cost about ₹ 10,000 crore.
  • The mission is expected to help develop several game-changing technologies.
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Diphtheria

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) published the guidelines on the clinical management of diphtheria.

ABOUT DIPHTHERIA

  • Diphtheria is a serious contagious bacterial infection of the nose and throat.
  • According to WHO, Respiratory diphtheria is caused by strains of Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which have an affinity for the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat) and produce a toxin that causes local disease and, in severe cases, airway compromise and systemic complications.
  • Diphtheria spreads from person to person mostly through the air, and less frequently by direct contact. The incubation period is usually from 2 to 5 days.
  • Although diphtheria can be treated with medications, in advanced stages, the bacterial infection can damage the heart, kidneys and nervous system.
  • Even with treatment, diphtheria can be deadly, especially in children.
  • It is a vaccine-preventable disease, but multiple doses and booster doses are needed to produce and sustain immunity.
    • People who are not immunised or under-immunised are at risk of the disease.
  • Diphtheria is fatal in 5-10 per cent of cases, with a higher mortality rate in young children.
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