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04 May Current Affairs

AYURAKSHA Programme organized by Delhi Police

In News:

The All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) organized AYURAKSHA Programme under the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy).

Highlights:

The programme aimed to maintain the health of front-line workers of COVID-19. It was a joint venture of AIIA and Delhi Police and was titled AYURAKSHA “Corona Se Jung-Delhi Police Ke Sang”. The main objective of the programme is to fight against simple and time tested Ayurveda immunity boosting measures.

Recommendations:

The programme recommends Chyawanaprasha. Chyawanprasha has Amla as main ingredient. It also recommends other major formulations such as Sanshamani Vati and anu Taila. These formulations use simple herbs and are time tested.

What is the Plan?

Under the programme the Delhi Police has come up with a proposal to maintain the health of the COVID-19 front line warriors. This includes the police personnel as well. According to the plan, Ayurveda immunity measures are to be adopted. The proposal is to be implemented in phased manner. In phase I, the quarantined officials are to be covered. In Phase II, police officers in containment zones are to be covered. In phase III, the officers in quarantine zones are to be covered. Finally in Phase IV, the police men working in front line of the COVID-19 combat are to be covered.

YASH launched by Department of Science and Technology

In News:

On April 30, 2020, programme YASH was launched by Department of Science and Technology. YASH is Year of Awareness on Science and Health. The awareness is being created to focus on COVID-19.

Details:

The initiative aims at encouraging public engagement and enable communities to increase their sense of awareness against COVID-19. By this, the governments can take informed decisions and mange associated risks.

Highlights:

The National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) operating under Department of Science and Technology has launched YASH to focus on COVID-19. It is a comprehensive science and health communication initiative to promote grass-root level response on health.

What is the plan?

Under the initiative, the NCSTC has planned to work out academic, media, research and voluntary organizations to prepare for emergency and also to address challenges. The programme will include health, science and risk communication software, audio-visual, folk performances, digital platforms and communicators to address the challenges. The programme is to be launched in regional languages.

Aim of the programme:

The programme has been launched to minimize the risks of COVID-19 at all levels with the help of public awareness.

Significance:

The YASH programe will help in improving risk understanding, indigenous knowledge, bring attitudinal changes, to cope with courage and confidence.

ATULYA: Microwave sterilizer to disintegrate COVID-19 developed

In News:

The Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, deemed university operating under Defence Research and Development Organization has designed microwave sterilizer called “ATULYA”.

Highlights:

The Sterilizer is used to disintegrate COVID-19 virus. The sterilizer uses differential heating to disintegrate the virus in the range of 56 degree Celsius to 60 degree Celsius. The weight of the designed sterilizer is 3 kgs. The time of sterilization depends on the size of the object. The device is cost effective and can be run in fixed and portable installations as well.

What is Sterilization?

Sterilization is the process by which different forms of life, especially micro organisms such as fungi, virus, bacteria, spores and other Eukaryotic organisms such as Plasmodium are eliminated, killed, removed or deactivated.

Sterilization is different from sanitization, pasteurization, disinfection. The main methods used in sterilization includes dry heat, pressure, gas vapor, ultra violet radiation, chlorine dioxide gas, etc.

There are other methods of sterilization as well. This includes dry heat, flaming, incineration, tyndallization, glass bead sterilizers, chemical sterilization. The chemical sterilization is done using ethylene oxide or nitrogen dioxide or ozone, formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide. Sterilization is also done using radiation. The safety of the irradiation is regulated by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency.

Differential Heating:

Differential Heating is the process that creates two different temperatures to disintegrate the virus.

GI Tag

In News:

On April 30, 2020, Black rice of Manipur, also called the Chak-Hao, Gorakhpur Terracotta and Kadalai Mittai of Kovilpatti bagged Geographical Indication tag.

Highlights:

The application to receive Geographical Status for Chak Hao was initiated by North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC).

Black rice:

This rice variety has a deep black colour and is higher by weight than that of other coloured rice varieties like brown rice, etc. The rice has higher weight and is black in colour mainly due to the anthocyanin agent. The rice is suitable for creating dessert, porridge. It is used in traditional bread, noodles and rice cake recipes of China.

Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai:

Kadalai Mittai is a pea nut candy made in southern parts of Tamil Nadu. The candy is prepared from ground nut and jaggery. The water is exclusively used from the river Thamirabarani. According to the producers of the region the water from this particular river enhances the taste of the candy.

River Thamirabarani originates in the Western Ghats and flows into the Gulf of Mannar. It is a perennial river of Tamil Nadu.

Gorakhpur Terracotta:

The terracotta of Gorakhpur is centuries old. The potters of the town make animal figures like elephants, horses. Every piece of arts created has more toil and has earned less remuneration so far. The GI tag will help to boost the potters’ income.

Hezbollah classified as Terrorist Organization by Germany

In News:

On April 30, 2020, Germany classified the organization Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in its soil. According to an early morning operation conducted by the German police, more than 1,000 people in Germany belong to the Hezbollah extremist wing.

Hezbollah:

The Hezbollah is a Shia Islamist political party that is based in Lebanon. The organization was founded by the Iranian effort in 1980s to aggregate Lebanese Shia groups. In the on-going Iran-Israel conflicts, Hezbollah acts as a proxy for Iran.

Foundation:

In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and occupied a strip of south Lebanon. Hezbollah was then founded by the Muslim clerics in the region and was funded by Iran to harass Israeli occupation.

Iran-Israel proxy war:

The conflict between Iran and Israel is a political struggle of Iran to dissolve the Jewish state, Israel. It emerged from Iran’s hostility towards Israel during Iranian Revolution in 1979. It then increased with Iranian support to Hezbollah during South Lebanon conflict.

Hezbollah manifesto:

In 1985, Hezbollah created a manifesto that listed to expel the French, Americans and all their allies putting an end to the colonial rule.

United Nations:

The United Nations Security Council operating for world peace, had disbanded and disarmed all the Lebanese militia. However, the organization has not yet made a decision over the Hezbollah group.

India ranks 53rd in Budget Transparency and Accountability

In News:

According to the Open Budget Survey conducted by the International Budget Partnership, India ranked 53rd among 117 countries in budget transparency and accountability.

Highlights: World

India scored 49 out 0f 100 in the survey. The score was above the global average of 45. New Zealand scored 87 and topped the list. South Africa, Mexico and Brazil were the other top performers with scores 87, 82 and 81 respectively.

Highlights: India

The survey gave better scores for India for its timely publishing and relevant information in the audit reports. According to the survey, absence of pre-budget statement and mid-year review in the year 2018-19 was the main reason for India to scoreless in the survey.

Suggestions:

The survey suggests to maintain high degree of transparency in government finances in order to ensure the public resources are used judiciously. An integrated expenditure information architecture has to be built in every district headquarters. This will help the coordination and management committees at district level to enforce accountability and improve budget transparency

About the Survey:

The survey evaluated every country based on their issuance of information to the public in a timely manner. Also, they assessed how far the countries allowed public participation in order to prepare the ranking.

Rebate of State and Central Taxes Scheme in the form of Scrips

In News:

On May 1, 2020, the Government of India announced that the Rebate of State and Central Scheme arrears are to be provided in the form of scrips. It is to be provided by the Department of Revenue Communication.

Highlights:

The ROSL scheme was discontinued in March 2019. The scheme was replaced with Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies Scheme. The arrears to be provided in the form of scrips is to benefit many of the cotton textile exporters.

What is a scrip?

Scrip is a certificate that is subscribed to a bank or an individual entitling the holder a part of dividend or an amount of money.

ROSL scheme:

The scheme supported apparels and made ups. The state and central taxes continue to be present in the cost of exports. The scheme rebates state and central taxes. This will include more than 56% of India’s textile export basket. The aim is to make the textile sector competitive.

Cotton Export:

Cotton fabrics and yarn account to 23% of total textiles and apparel exports in India. In 2018-19, the total cotton production was 28.7 million bales. In the same year, the cotton clothing exports were 36.62 billion USD. India exports cotton and cotton products mainly to UAE, US, UK, France.

USA is the major exporter of cotton in the world.

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