Daily Current Affairs: 11th September 2019: The Hindu+PIB
NATIONAL GENOMIC GRID (CANCER)
Context: National Genomic Grid is planned to be set up so as to take cancer research to the next level and make treatment viable for people of different economic sections. The National Genomic Grid for India-specific cancer research will collect samples from cancer patients to study genomic facts that influence cancer and identify the right treatment modalities for the Indian population. The National Genomic Grid will have four specific parts, with the country divided into East, West, North and South. The National Grid which is to be formed will be in line with the National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) set up at the IIT-Madras and which is working in close association with the Indian Council for Medical Reasearch (ICMR). With the help of this National Genomic Grid, the government is on a mission to achieve the target of one doctor for every 1,000 people, a standard ratio set by the WHO, by 2022, against the current ratio of 1/1,400.
Two new species of ginger discovered in Nagaland
Context: Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered two new species of Zingiber, which is commonly known as ginger, from Nagaland.
Where are they discovered?
Zingiber perenense has been discovered from the Peren district of Nagaland, while Zingiber dimapurense was found in the Dimapur district of the State.
What is the difference between the two species?
Zingiber dimapurense is taller between the two species found, with leafy shoots measuring 90-120 cm high, whereas the leafy shoots of Zingiber perenense reach up to 70 cm in height.
When were they collected?
The type specimens of Zingiber perenense were collected in September 2017, when the botanists were working on the ‘State flora of Nagaland’ in the Peren district. On the other hand, the specimen of Zingiber dimapurense was collected in October 2016 from the Hekese village forest under the Medziphema subdivision.
What about previous discoveries?
The genus Zingiber has 141 species distributed throughout Asia, Australia and the South Pacific, with its centre of diversity in Southeast Asia. Previous discoveries of Zingiber include Hedychium chingmeianum from the Tuensang district of Nagaland, Caulokaempferia dinabandhuensis from the Ukhrul district in Manipur in 2017, and Zingiber bipinianum from Meghalaya in 2015.
What is the importance of this species?
The rhizome of Zingiber officinale (common ginger) is used as a spice in kitchens across Asia, and also for its medicinal value. Other wild species of Zingiber also have immense horticultural importance.
Context: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued new guidelines to State Govts. to identify the accident ‘black spots’ on national highways and also rectifying them.
What is a Black Spot?
It is defined as a stretch not more than 500 metres in length where five accidents have taken place or where 10 fatalities have occurred in the last 3 years.
How these spots are dangerous?
These spots accounts for 90% of the road accidents in the country and short-term as well as long-term measures chalked out by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to curb accidents in such spots have a significant importance. As per the recent reports from the Ministry, Minister of Road Transport and Highways has prepared a Rs. 14000 crore plan to identify these black spots in the country. The Ministry has also approached World Bank for funds after approval from the Ministry of Finance.
24th WORLD ENERGY CONGRESS
Context: The 24th World Energy Congress is recently commenced in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE. It is to take place in Abu Dhabi at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, UAE from 09-12 September 2019. Theme of 24th World Energy Congress: Energy for Prosperity. The above theme represents the ambitious and dynamic energy transition of the country.
What is World Energy Congress?
It is the world’s largest and most influential energy event that covers all the aspects of the energy agenda. More than 150 countries are represented in this Congress. Running since 1924, the Congress has more than 90-year history and has been staged in over 20 cities across the world. It is held every three years and is positioned as the flagship event of the World Energy Council. It is also the longest-running and most influential energy event in the world. The last three World Energy Congresses took place in:
- 23rd World Energy Congress, 9-13 October 2016, Istanbul, Turkey
- 22nd World Energy Congress, 13-17 October 2013, Daegu, Republic of South Korea
- 21st World Energy Congress, 12-16 September 2010, Montreal, Canada
About World Energy Council
The World Energy Council is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners that promotes an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all human beings. It was formed in 1923, and is the UN-accredited global energy body, that represents the entire energy spectrum, with more than 3,000 member organisations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy-related stakeholders. WEC informs global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events, publishing authoritative studies, and working through its extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue.
GOVIND BALLABH PANTH
Context: President Ram Nath Kovind paid tributes to Pandit Govind Ballabh Panth on his 132nd Birth Anniversary.
About Govind Ballabh Panth (1887-1961)
- He was a lawyer, a freedom fighter as well as one of the architects of modern India.
- He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of United Province of Agra and Oudh in 1921.
- He participated in both the Non-cooperation Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement during the struggle for freedom.
- He was also a member of Central Legislative Assembly and the Constituent Assembly.
- He also served as the second CM of United Provinces from 1937-1939.
- He served as the first CM of Uttar Pradesh from 1950 to 1954.
- He also served as the Union Home Minister from 1955-1961.
- Reorganization of States along the Linguistic lines was one of his chief achievements during his role as a Union Home Minister.
- He received Bharat Ratna in 1957 on account of his exemplary services to the nation.
- It was due to his efforts that Hindi was established as the official language of the central government as well as for a few states.
Modi, Oli open cross-border pipeline
Context: Prime Minister Modi and his Napalese counterpart K. P. Sharma Oli inaugurated the Motihari-Amalekhganj petroleum pipeline through video conferencing.
About Motihari-Amlekhganj Petroleum Pipeline
It is the first ever cross-border petroleum product pipeline in South Asia. This 69-km pipeline will transport fuel from Barauni refinery in Bihar’s Begusarai district to Amalekhgunj in southeastern Nepal, situated across the border from Raxaul in East Champaran district.
The project was first proposed in 1996, but the progress was slow. It was in 2017, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) signed a petroleum trade agreement to supply about 1.3 million tonnes of fuel annually to Nepal with a promise to double the volume by 2020.
What is the significance of this pipeline?
The pipeline will help in tackling the oil storage problem in Nepal. The Amalekhgunj fuel depot will have the capacity to store up to 16,000 kilolitres of petroleum products.
The pipeline will drastically reduce the cost of transporting fuel to landlocked Nepal from India by doing away with the transportation of petroleum products through tankers (as part of an arrangement which is in place since 1973)
SANJAY MITRA COMMITTEE
Centre has set up a 3-member panel to oversee the bifurcation of J&K into two UTs. The Committee will be headed by Former Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra. The Committee will have retd. IAS Officer Arun Goyal and retd. Indian Civil Accounts Service officer Giriraj Prasad Gupta as members. The committee will look into the distribution of assets and liabilities of Jammu and Kashmir between two successor Union Territories, which will come into existence on 31st of October this year.
CHC FARM MACHINERY
It is a multilingual Mobile App which was launched by the Union Minister of State for Agriculture during a Conference on Crop Residue Management in New Delhi. This mobile app will allow farmers to avail custom hiring services of CHCs located in a radius of 50 km. The App connects the farmers with Custom Hiring Centers (CHCs) in their area. It is available for any android phone on Google Play Store.
FIVE STAR MOVEMENT (M5S)
It is a political party in Italy which was founded in 2009 by Beppe Grillo. It was borne out of apparent frustration with the political establishment in a country with a stagnant economy and widespread corruption at the highest echelons. The Five Stars are a reference to the 5 key issues for the party:
- Public Water
- Sustainable Transport
- Sustainable Development
- Right to Internet Access
The party is considered populist, anti-establishment, environmentalist, anti-globalist and Eurosceptic. Since its inception in 2009, the M5S has risen to become one of the most voted-for parties in Italy.
It is the biggest and the most important festival of the State of KERALA. It is basically a harvest festival which is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This corresponds with the month of August-September according to the Gregorian Calendar. Carnival of Onam lasts from 4 to 10 days. Atham and Thiruonam, the first and the 10th day respectively are the most important of all.