Context: Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers launched a mobile application “Janaushadhi Sugam” and from now onwards “Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin” will now be available at only One Rupee per pad.
About the Janaushadhi Sugam Mobile app
“Janaushadhi Sugam” mobile app, has been launched with user-friendly options such as:
- To locate nearby Janaushadhikendra,
- Direction guidance for location of the Janaushadhikendra through Google Map,
- Search Janaushadhi generic medicines,
- Analyse product comparison of Generic vs Branded medicine in form of MRP & overall Savings.
It is available on both Android & iOS platforms and can be downloaded free of cost by the user from Google Play Store as well as from Apple Store.
JANAUSHADHI SANITARY NAPKINS: The GoI launched “Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin” at Rs 2.50 per pad on World Environment Day, 4th June 2018.
Jan Aushadhi Suvidha possess a special additive, which makes it biodegradable as soon as it comes in contact with oxygen after being discarded. Over 1.30 crore pads were sold at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras till 31st July 2019,
To make these sanitary pads more affordable and accessible to the Indian women, GoI has now decided to make these pads available at rate of only Rs 1.00/- per pad as promised by the Prime Minister before the ‘Lok Sabha Election-2019’.
TARANTULA : RARE SPECIES DISCOVERED
Context: Researchers have sighted a critically endangered species of tarantula for the first time in Pakkamalai Reserve Forests near Gingee in Villupuram district far beyond its known habitat in the Eastern Ghats.
What is it?
This is a spider that belongs to the genus Poecilotheria, commonly known as the Peacock Parachute Spider or Gooty Tarantula. The species is known to be endemic to India.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorised it as Critically Endangered.
The spider was sighted way back in 1899 by Reginald Innes Pocock on the basis of a single female specimen. About 102 years later this species has been recorded at degraded forest between Nandyal and Giddalur in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh.
The species had so far not been sighted in any other part of India or Sri Lanka except its known habitat in Andhra Pradesh.
But, this is for the first time that this rare species of Tarantula has been found outside its natural habitat.
Tarantulas are biological pest controllers and there is a huge demand for them by collectors in the pet trade. This is the reason why they are given the status of Critically endangered species by IUCN.
CHILD WELL-BEING INDEX REPORT
Context: The Report has been released by the NGO World Vision India and research institute IFMR LEAD.
It is an attempt to look at how India fairs on child well-being using a composite child well-being index. This report provides insights on health, nutrition, education, sanitation and child protection.
One of the primary objectives of this index is to garner attention to the under-researched theme of child well-being in India, and inspire further academic and policy conversations on related issues.
- Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Puducherry topped the index and emerged out as the best states in case of child well-being.
- Meghalaya, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh featured at the bottom.
- The dimensions of the index include healthy individual development, positive relationships and protective contexts.
- The report highlights the multi-dimensional approach towards measuring child well-being — going beyond mere income poverty.
NEW GUIDELINES FOR E-TAILORS
Context: The guidelines for e-commerce firms which are aimed at protecting the consumer interests would now become mandatory under the new Consumer Protection Act.
What are these guidelines?
These are the guidelines that gives a 14-day deadline to effect refund request, mandate e-tailers to display details of sellers supplying goods and services on their websites and make effective procedure to resolve consumer complaints.
According to the guidelines, the companies must protect the personally identifiable information of customers, should not directly or indirectly influence the price of the goods or services and “maintain a level-playing field”.
Read more: CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL, 2019
CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES)
Context: The 18th Conference of the Parties of CITES was recently help in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) was decided to be moved from Appendix II to Appendix I of CITES as their numbers in the wild had fallen by more than 30% over the past 30 years.
- The Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko) to be included in Appendix II of CITES.
- Indian Star Tortoise was given the highest level of international protection from commercial trade by upgrading it to the Appendix I of CITES.
About CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international treaty that ensure trade in wild animals and plants do not threaten their survival. The CITES Secretariat is administered by UNEP and is located at Geneva, Switzerland. CITES was drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of IUCN (The World Conservation Union). It is an international agreement to which States and regional economic integration organizations adhere voluntarily. States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention (‘joined’ CITES) are known as Parties. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws. For many years, CITES has been among the conservation agreements with the largest membership, with now 183 Parties. The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade. Changes to Appendix III follow a distinct procedure from changes to Appendices I and II, as each Party’s is entitled to make unilateral amendments to it. India is a party to CITES.
C-Sat-Fi; XGSPON and CiSTB launched
Context: Union Ministry for Communications has launched the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT)’s latest innovations, the “C-Sat-Fi (C-DOT Satellite Wifi)“, “XGSPON (10 G Symmetric Passive Optical Network)“ and “C-DOT’s Interoperable Set Top Box (CiSTB)“
ABOUT THE NEW INNOVATIONS LAUNCHED
- “C-Sat-Fi (C-DOT Satellite Wifi)“ works on the effective utilization of wireless and satellite communication to extend connectivity to the remote islands and difficult terrains.
- “XGSPON (10 G Symmetric Passive Optical Network)” is an effective solution to fulfill the rapidly growing demands of high network speeds for applications like IPTV, HD Video Streaming, Online gaming and other cloud based services.
- “C-DOT’s Interoperable Set Top Box (CiSTB)“ works on a portable smart card like a mobile SIM and is expected to revolutionize the experience of Cable TV operations by offering them a high degree of choice, ease and convenience without replacing the once installed Set Top Box.
WHAT IS MARS SOLAR CONJUNCTION?
When Mars and Earth are on the opposite side of the Sun, then it is said to be the Mars Solar Conjunction. It occurs every 2 years.
During Solar Conjunction, the ionized gas expelled by the Sun from its corona, can interfere with the radio signals when engineers try to communicate with spacecraft at Mars, thus corrupting commands and results in an unexpected behaviour from those space explorers.
This is the reason why the daily exchange of date between antennas on Earth and those on NASA spacecraft at Mars is going to get much quieter for a few weeks.
To be on safer side, engineers hold off on sending commands when Mars disappears far enough behind the Sun’s corona that there’s increased risk of radio interference. This time, the hold on issuing commands – called a “command moratorium” will run from August 28 to September 7.
- Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award 2018 has recently being announced. The award is given every year to recognize the achievements of persons in the fields of adventure.
- The award is given in four categories: Land Adventure, Water Adventure, Air Adventure and Life Time Achievement.
- Ms. Aparna Kumar, Late Shri Dipankar Ghosh and Shri Manikandan K has been awarded in category of land adventure.
- Shri Prabhat Raju Koli has been awarded in category for Water Adventure.
- Shri Rameshwer Jangra has been awarded for category of Air Adventure.
- Shri Wangchuk Sherpa has been awarded for the Life Time Achievement.
- “Bonn Challenge“ is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. India became part of the “Bonn Challenge” in January 2019.
- India faces a severe problem of land degradation, or soil becoming unfit for cultivation. About 29% or about 96.4 million hectares are considered degraded.
- Schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Soil Health Card Scheme, Soil Health Management Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana are being examined to act as a key to tackle this problem of land degradation.