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05 November Current Affairs

National Research Institute of Unani Medicine for Skin Disorders (NRIUMSD)

In News:

Union Minister for AYUSH inaugurated National Research Institute of Unani Medicine for Skin Disorders (NRIUMSD) at Hyderabad.

About:

NRIUMSD has been upgraded from Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CRIUM) at AG Colony Road, Erragadda, Hyderabad to a premier institute under the Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM).

The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of AYUSH. Since its establishment in 1978, the CCRUM as the apex government organization for research in Unani Medicine.

Fifth India International Science Festival

In News:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Fifth India International Science Festival at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata through video conference on November 5, 2019.

About:

The prime objective of the festival is to instill scientific temper among the masses, showcase India’s contribution in the field of S&T and encourage translation of its benefits to people.

India International Science Festival (IISF) 2019 is an annual event organised jointly by science and technology related Ministries and Departments of the Government of India and Vijnana Bharati (Vibha). Vigyan Prasar is the nodal agency to coordinate the IISF 2019.

This is the fifth edition since its inception in 2015.

Theme for this year is RISEN India – Research, Innovation, and Science Empowering the Nation.

IISF through the years

IISF 2015: Venue: IIT-Delhi, New Delhi. Nodal Agency: DST

IISF 2016: Venue: CSIR-NPL, New Delhi. Nodal Agency: CSIR

IISF 2017: Venue: IIT-Madras, Anna University & NIOT, Chennai. Nodal Agency: MoES

IISF 2018: Venue: Indira Gandhi Pratishthan, Lucknow, Nodal Agency: DBT

IISF 2019 – Venues: BBCC & Science City, Kolkata, Nodal Agency: DST

Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA):

Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), previously known as ‘Swadeshi Science Movement’ is a non-profit organisation, working for science popularization & implementation of modern technology & ancient sciences in India. It was founded by the eminent scientists of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru led by Prof. K.I. Vasu.

Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, was set up in 1989 to take on large-scale science and technology popularisation programmes.

Vigyanika

In News:

Vigyanika – an International Science Literature Festival – will be held during the 5th India International Science Festival (IISF) beginning in Kolkata on November 5, 2019.

About:

Vigyanika will showcase science communication efforts and concepts through an interesting mix of media including drama, poetry, panel discussions and paper presentations.

The Vigyanika, to be held from November 5-7, 2019, will also include a science book fair displaying scientific publications from more than 30 reputed publishers.

It is being coordinated by the CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (CSIR-NISCAIR), Vigyan Prasar, and Vigyan Bharati.

It will see nearly 75 eminent science communicators, authors, researchers and science journalists from India, USA, UK, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Nepal addressing more than 200 delegates from across the country.

Landmark Container Cargo Consignment

In News:

A landmark container cargo consignment will sail on inland waterways from Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) to the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) terminal at Pandu in Guwahati on 4 November, 2019.

About:

Shri Gopal Krishna, Secretary (Shipping) will flag off the inland vessel MV Maheshwari carrying 53 TEUs (containers) of petrochemicals, edible oil and beverage etc.

The 12-15 days voyage will be an integrated Inland Water Transport (IWT) movement via National Waterway-1 (river Ganga), NW-97 (Sunderbans), Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route and NW-2 (river Brahmaputra).

This is the first ever containerised cargo movement on this IWT route i.e. NW-2.

The latest IWT movement will provide a fillip to North East Region’s industrial development by opening up an alternate route for transportation of raw material and finished goods.

The Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) between India and Bangladesh allows mutually beneficial arrangements for the use of their waterways for movement of goods between the two countries by vessels of both countries.

The IBP route extends from Kolkata (India) on NW-1 to Silghat (Assam) on NW-2 (River Brahmaputra) and Karimganj (Assam) on NW-16 (River Barak).

Background:

Earlier, the first consignment of containerized cargo on National Waterway-1 (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system) was received by the Prime Minister in November 2018 when he dedicated to the nation, the Multi Modal Terminal at Varanasi.

Suez Canal

In News:

The Suez Canal opened in 1869 as a vital shortcut for military and commercial shipping, but 150 years later vessels have other options available for traversing the seas other than the venerable Mediterranean-Red Sea shipping lane.

About:

Location: The Suez Canal is a sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. It extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik at the city of Suez.

The canal is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of Egypt.

Under the Convention of Constantinople, it may be used “in time of war as in time of peace, by every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag”.

Importance: The canal offers watercraft a more direct route between the North Atlantic and northern Indian oceans via the Mediterranean and Red seas, thus avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian oceans.

Timeline:

Constructed by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869, it officially opened on 17 November 1869.

The United Kingdom and France owned the canal until July 1956, when the President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalized it – an event which led to the Suez Crisis of October-November 1956.

Egypt opened a major expansion of the canal in August 2015, deepening the main waterway and providing ships with a parallel 22-mile channel. The expansion allows two-way traffic along part of the route for the first time and the passage of larger vessels.

Pakistan Passport Issue

In News:

After Pakistan waived requirement of a passport and 10-day advance registration for Sikh pilgrims from India visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib via Kartarpur Corridor, Punjab Chief Minister ‘urged’ Islamabad to apply this “to all citizens of secular India” as the Nanak Naam Lewa Sangat belong to other religions too and may not necessarily be Sikhs.

About:

Any person who believes in Guru Nanak and follows his teachings in life, irrespective of belonging to any religion is a Nanak Naam Lewa or a Nanakpanthi.

Guru Nanak had spread the message of oneness and people from different faiths had become his followers. The core value of his philosophy as he said was “Sabhna jiya ka ik daata” (There is only one giver of life, one God) and “Na koi Hindu, na Musalman” (There is no Hindu, no Muslim).

According to rough estimates, there are 12-15 crore Nanak Naam Lewas across the world.

Within India alone, they are believed to be in crores, and are spread across states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana among others.

There are close to 8 lakh Nanakpanthis in Pakistan. Sindhi Hindus in Pakistan are not counted among Sikhs but they follow Nanak and are Nanakpanthis.”

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)

In News:

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its older commercial arm Antrix Corporation Ltd. are poised to commercialise India’s regional navigation satellite system, NavIC.

About:

NavIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation) is the Indian system of eight satellites that is aimed at telling business and individual users where they are, or how their products and services are moving.

The indigenous positioning or location based service (LBS) works just like the established and popular U.S. Global Positioning System or GPS, but within a 1,500-km radius over the sub-continent.

Recent developments:

Antrix Corporation Ltd. recently floated two separate tenders to identify industries that can develop dedicated NavIC-based hardware and systems. Besides the Antrix tenders, two other recent developments have paved the way for taking NavIC closer to end users.

In mid-October, ISRO announced that Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a leading producer of semiconductor chips, had developed and tested NavIC-friendly chipsets across its user bases and that it would add NavIC to them.

NavIC was also certified by the 3GPP (The 3rd Generation Partnership Project), a global body for coordinating mobile telephony standards. The specifications will be available in March 2020 and would be adopted as a national standard.

Dustlik-2019

In News:

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart presided over the Curtain Raiser of the first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise – Dustlik-2019.

About:

The joint military exercise focused on counter-terrorism starts on November 4 and will continue till November 13, at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent.

The exercise will enable sharing of best practices and experiences between the Armed Forces of the two countries and would lead to greater operational effectiveness.

Defence Minister is in Uzbekistan on a three-day visit since Saturday. This is the first visit by an Indian Defence Minister to Uzbekistan in about 15 years.

During the meeting, India and Uzbekistan concluded an MoU on cooperation in the field of Military Medicine between the Armed Forces of the two countries.

Labour Productivity Growth

In News:

An analysis done by India Ratings and Research of Annual Survey of Industries data on India’s labour productivity growth in the organised manufacturing sector shows a disappointing trend.

What is labour productivity?

Productivity is a measure of the efficiency with which resources, both human and material, are converted into goods and services. Besides land and capital, labour productivity plays a crucial role in deciding the rate of economic growth.

Labour productivity is crucially dependent on businesses investing in knowledge and innovation even as the governments bring about structural reforms that enable such investments to bear fruit.

Analysis by India Ratings and Research on India’s labour productivity growth in the organised manufacturing sector:

Between 2004 and 2008, India’s labour productivity grew by over 14 % every year. But between financial years of 2011 and 2015, this rate fell to just half of that (7.4 %) and continued its deceleration to just 3.7 % between financial years of 2016 and 2018.

Between financial years 2001 and 2018, the capital intensity — that is, fixed capital used per worker — in India’s organised manufacturing has been rising. But the output intensity — that is, the value of output per fixed capital — has actually declined over the same period.

In other words, while more and more capital is being used per unit of labour, it is not yielding commensurate level of output growth.

East Asia Summit

In News:

The latest edition of the East Asia Summit (EAS) is being held in Bangkok.

About East Asia Summit:

EAS is an initiative of ASEAN and is based on the premise of the centrality of ASEAN.

It is a forum held annually by leaders of 18 countries in the East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian regions.

EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings.

The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 14 December 2005.

There are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS. These are – Environment and Energy, Education, Finance, Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases, Natural Disaster Management, and ASEAN Connectivity. India endorses regional collaboration in all six priority areas.

Potential:

EAS, representing nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population and over 20 per cent of global trade,is a mega gathering and is a testimony to the rise of Asia.

EAS is a region of strong and fast growing economies. It is considered the third pole of world economy after the US and Europe. Its four major economic players namely Japan, China, India and Korea are among the twelve largest ranking global economies.

Financial and monetary cooperation between ASEAN+6 or EAS countries could be an area of fruitful cooperation in view of the fact that their combined foreign exchange reserves exceed $ 3 trillion.

Significance for India:

For India, EAS acts as an alternative to the APEC in which India doesn’t enjoy the membership.

India’s membership to the EAS is a recognition of its fast growing economic and political clout.

Act East policy of India:In order to build multi-faceted relations with ASEAN and other multilateral nations and strengthen bilateral relations India has emphasised upon its Act East Policies for which EAS will prove crucial.

China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea and the nature of its growing investments has led the ASEAN countries to view India as a potential power that could balance a rising China.

India’s strength lies in service sector and information-technology and Japan has a sound capital base. Thus there are complementarities in trade and production structures of the EAS members.

India’s deep cultural and civilizational links with the EAS countries are widely known. India can play a major role in cultural and people to people cooperation with the region, which can reinforce the economic momentum for community building.

 

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