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CURRENT AFFAIRSTHE HINDU : AUGUST 2019

Daily Current Affairs : 17th August 2019 : The Hindu News Analysis


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METAMATERIAL : ‘Smart’ clothing gives boost to wearable tech

Researchers in Singapore have invented ‘smart’ clothing they say can boost signals and save battery life on wireless devices such as headphones and smart watches.

The invention called “metamaterial” allows radio-waves like Bluetooth and WiFi to glide across clothing between wearable devices instead of radiating outwards in all directions.

This means sensors and wearable technology such as Apple Watches and AirPods can establish stronger connections faster and save energy.

It could also keep signals more secure by transmitting sensitive information close to the body and away from potential eavesdroppers on the radio waves.

NEW CURE FOR TUBERCULOSIS

The three-drug regimen consists of bedaquiline, pretomanid and linezolid — collectively known as the BPaL regimen.

Pretomanid is the novel compound developed by the New York-based non-profit organization TB Alliance and which received the FDA greenlight. 

About TUBERCULOSIS
It is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.

These are of two types :
  • Latent TBIn this condition, you have a TB infection, but the bacteria remain in your body in an inactive state and cause no symptoms. Latent TB, also called inactive TB or TB infection, isn't contagious
    • It can turn into active TB, so treatment is important for the person with latent TB and to help control the spread of TB. An estimated 2 billion people have latent TB.
  • Active TBThis condition makes you sick and in most cases can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later.

FOUR NEW PRODUCTS GET GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION(GI) TAG

These four new products includes :
  1. Palani Panchamirtham from Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu State;
  2. Tawlhlohpuan from Mizoram;
  3. Mizo Puanchei from Mizoram;  and 
  4. Tirur Betel leaf from Kerala.
Palani Panchamirtham
It is an abishega Prasadam, from Palani Town, and is one of the main offerings in the Abisegam of Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy, the presiding deity of Arulmigu Dhandayuthapaniswamy Temple, situated in palani Hills, Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu.


It is a combination of five natural substances, namely, banana, jaggery sugar, cow ghee, honey and cardamom in a definite proportion. It is prepared in a natural method without addition of any preservatives or artificial ingredients and is well known for its religious fervour and gaiety.

This is the first time a temple ‘prasadam from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag.

Tawlhlohpuan
It is a medium to heavy, compactly woven, good quality fabric from Mizoram is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving & intricate designs that are made by hand.

Tawlhloh, in Mizo language, means 'to stand firm or not to move backward.

Tawlhlohpuan, which holds high significance in the Mizo society, is produced throughout the state of Mizoram (Aizawl and Thenzawl town are the main centre of production).

Mizo Puanchei 
It is a colourful Mizo shawl/textile, from Mizoram, is considered as the most colourful among the Mizo textiles. It is an essential possession for every Mizo lady and an important marriage outfit in the state.

It is also the most commonly used costume in Mizo festive dances and official ceremonies. The weavers insert the designs and motifs by using supplementary yarns while weaving to create this beautiful and alluring textile.

Tirur Betel leaf
It is mainly cultivated in Tirur, Tanur, Tirurangadi, Kuttippuram, Malappuram and Vengara block panchayaths of Malappuram District, is valued both for its mild stimulant action and medicinal properties.

Even though it is commonly used for making pan masala for chewing, it has many medicinal, industrial and cultural usages and is considered as a remedy for bad breath and digestive disorders.

What is a GI?
GI is an indication used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality

What is the significance of GI tags?
GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen. India’s rural artisans possess unique skills and knowledge of traditional practices and methods, passed down from generation to generation, which need to be protected and promoted.

How is it governed?
India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003.

GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS) Agreement as :

"Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin."

Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India, in 2004-05.


National essential diagnostic list
India has got its first National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL) finalised by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which aims to bridge the current regulatory system’s gap that do not cover all the medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic device (IVD).

With this, India has become the first country to compile such a list that would provide guidance to the government for deciding the kind of diagnostic tests that different healthcare facilities in villages and remote areas require.


The list is meant for facilities from village till the district level.

NEDL is built upon the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of the Health Ministry to provide an expanded basket of tests at different levels of the public health system. 

How the implementation of NEDL will be helpful?
The implementation of NEDL would enable improved health care services delivery through evidence-based care, improved patient outcomes and reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure;

It will also help in effective utilisation of public health facilities along with effective assessment of disease burden, disease trends, surveillance, and outbreak identification.

It will also address anti-microbial resistance crisis too.

What is its key role?
Diagnostics serve a key role in improving health and quality of life and according to ICMR the key challenges anticipated during implementation of the National EDL includes :

Adoption by States and harmonisation with local standard diagnostic protocols and treatment guidelines, provision of requisite infrastructure, processes and human resources, ensuring quality of tests including EQAS and quality control and adequate utilisation of EDL tests for making informed decisions for treatment protocols.

How is it regulated in India?
In India, diagnostics (medical devices and in vitro diagnostics) follow a regulatory framework based on the drug regulations under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945. Diagnostics are regulated under the regulatory provisions of the Medical Device Rules, 2017.



No First Use Policy : India may change its stand

What is it?
No first use (NFU) refers to a pledge or a policy by a nuclear power not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an adversary using nuclear weapons. Earlier, the concept had also been applied to chemical and biological warfare.

What has been the India's stand till now?
India first adopted a "No first use" policy after its second nuclear tests, Pokhran-II, in 1998.

In August 1999, the Indian government released a draft of the doctrine which asserts that nuclear weapons are solely for deterrence and that India will pursue a policy of "retaliation only".

The document also maintains that India "will not be the first to initiate a nuclear first strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail" and that decisions to authorise the use of nuclear weapons would be made by the Prime Minister or his 'designated successor(s)'.

According to the National Research Development Corporation, despite the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan in 2001–2002, India remained committed to its nuclear no-first-use policy. India is in the process of developing a nuclear doctrine based on "credible minimum deterrence".

What is the stand now?
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, addressing the nation on the death anniversary of former Prime Minister AB Vajpayee on 16 August 2019, said that in future India’s no first use policy might change depending upon the “circumstances”.

Which countries are following this doctrine?
India and China, has pledged to follow the No-First-Use doctrine while Pakistan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and France say they will use nuclear weapons against either nuclear or non-nuclear states only in the case of invasion or other attack against their territory or against one of their allies.




QUICK FEEDS
  • July hottest month on record for the earth.
    • July 2019 temperatures were the hottest ever recorded globally, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) while satellite data showed polar ice shrank to its lowest levels. 
    • The average global temperature for the month was 0.95°C above the 20th century average of 15.8°C, making it the hottest July in its records, which go back to 1880.
    • Average Arctic sea ice meanwhile set a record low for July, at 1.9 million sq.km., 19.8% below average, and surpassing the previous historic low of July 2012. 
    • Average Antarctic sea ice was 6,75,000 sq.km., 4.3% below the 1981-2010 average.
  • The Vice President of India applauded the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for restoring "Shyamoli".
    • Shyamoli is the heritage house of late Rabindranath Tagore.
    • It is an experimental mud-house built at Santiniketan in 1935. 
    • The house has been recently renovated by the ASI as a deposit work and is a property of Visva-Bharati at present.
  • AADI MAHOTSAV : The 9-day festival will began on 17th August, 2019 at Polo Ground, Leh-Ladakh.
    • It is a joint initiative of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GoI and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
    • THEME : "A Celebration of the spirit of Tribal Craft, Culture and Commerce"
    • The event will see around 160 Tribal artisans from more than 20 states across the country, actively participating and showcasing their masterpiece.
    • The event will have two reputed local cultural troupes presenting Ladakhi folk dances. The troupes will perform :
      • Jabro Dance : A nomadic dance and song of people inhabiting eastern Ladakh.
      • Spawo Dance : A heroic song and dance associated with a legendary hero of Himalayan region called K'sar.


 ALSO READ 
16th August 2019 Current Affairs
15th August 2019 Current Affairs
THE ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2019


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