India to attend NAM Summit
On May 4, 2020, PM Modi will attend the NAM Summit representing India through a video conference. The Summit is to discuss COVID-19 challenges and solutions.
This is the first NAM Summit being attended by the Mr Modi since he was sworn in as the Prime Minister in 2014. Mr Modi both the summits as PM in 2016 and 2019. The 2016 summit was held in Venezuels and 2019 in Azerbaijan.
In 2012, the former PM Manmohan Singh participated at the Tehran NAM summit.
The NAM is Non-Aligned Movement forum of 120 developing countries. After the United Nations, NAM is the largest grouping of states. The summit was agreed to convene at the Bandung Conference in 1955.
NAM was established in 1961 through initiatives of Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru, Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito and Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The main aim of the summit is to build aspiration towards collective security, terminating dominance of one country over other and expansion of freedom. The NAM also aimed to soften the cold war that was building among the developed nations.
Principles of NAM:
The five major principles of NAM include mutual respect, mutual non-aggression, equality and mutual benefit, mutual non-interference in domestic affairs and peaceful coexistence.
What is COVID Toe?
The British Journal of Dermatology Researchers have so far observed 5 clinical patterns of the COVID-19 cases. One such is COVID Toe. COVID Toe is a kind of rash that is being developed in COVID-19 patients.
According to the study, COVID Toe was observed in 19% of patients infected with COVID-19. The dermatologists call the red rashes as Pseudo-Chilblain lesions. They are small red and itchy patches that occur on the fingers and toes when exposed to cold.
Chilblains occur due to inflammation of blood vessels and response to repeated exposure of cold air. It usually goes away in one or three weeks. However, this was not the case with Chilblains like patches due to COVID-19.
Five Clinical Patterns Observed:
According to the study, five clinical patterns were observed in patients with COVID-19 infection. They are as follows
Small blisters on the limbs and trunks were found on 9% of COVID-19 patients. It was more among middle aged patients
White of pink skin that looked like nettle rashes were observed in 19% of patients
Maculopapules were found in more than 47% of patients. Maculopapules are small, raised and flat red bumps that were common in patients with severe infections.
Livedo occurred in 6% of patients. Livedo is condition where the skin looked blotchy red or blue. It has signs of poor circulation of blood.
eCovSens developed by National Institute of Animal Biotechnology
The scientists in National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB), Hyderabad have developed a biosensor called the eCovSens. The sensor is used to detect COVID-19 virus in saliva samples.
The researchers from NIAB have developed non-invasive bio-sensor testing device called eCovSens to detect COVID-19. The lens can help detect COVID-19 virus within 10 to 30 seconds of testing.
Working of the Sensor:
The electrode of the device is coated with the antibody of COVID-19 virus. When the saliva sample of the infected person is put in the device, it gets applied to the electrode. A reaction then occurs between the antibody in the electrode and the antigen in the saliva. The reaction creates an electric flow that confirms the presence of the virus.
National Institute of Animal Biotechnology:
The National Institute of Animal Biotechnology was established in 2010. It was established by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology. The institute aims to provide translational research that involves livestock and beneficial to mankind.
The Government of India is currently facing various challenges such as shortage of testing kits, lack of adequate testing, etc. Several states had complained that the rapid antibody test kits imported from China were faulty. Therefore, implementing these technologies in larger scale will help solve the challenges faced by the Government.
USFDA approves emergency use of an investigational vaccine, Remdesivir
The United States Food and Drug Regulatory body recently allowed emergency use of anti-viral investigational vaccine Remdesivir to treat COVID-19 patients.
The USFDA has approved the vaccine after an Indian-American physician, Aruna Subramaninan’s report on Remdesivir. According to the report, the vaccine shortened the recovery times of people that have fallen ill due to COVID-19 virus. The FDA has provided emergency use authorization of the drug.
Remdesivir was developed to treat Ebola virus and Marburg virus. However, it was found to be ineffective in treating these diseases.
International Nonproprietary Name:
Remdesivir is an International Nonproprietary Name (INN). The INN is provided to a pharmaceutical drug or active ingredient. The INN is issued in Latin, English, Russian, French, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.
Emergency Use Authorization:
The Emergency Use Authorization in the United States to approve drugs during emergency. Earlier, the US FDA had approved use of diagnostic and therapeutic tools to identify and respond 2009 swine flu outbreak.
In 2013, the FDA issued Emergency Authorization Use of CDC Human Influenza virus.
Remdesivir trial by WHO:
WHO had launched 4 mega trials to treat COVID-19. It includes Remdesivir, HCQ (Hydroxychloroquine), combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir and Interferon-beta along with the combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir.
Bharat Market: National E-Commerce Marketplace launched by CAIT
A National E-Commerce Market place was launched by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) called “Bharat Market”.
The e-commerce market place will integrate the capabilities of technology companies in order to provide end to end services. The portal will include participation of retailers and aims to bring 95% of retail traders into the platform. It will mainly focus on technology companies to provide end to end services.
The initiative is to be guided and supported by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Measures by GoI:
The government of India has taken several measures to develop e-commerce market in the country. Recently, around 200 mandis were added to the E-NAM platform. Today there are around 785 mandis operating under the platform. E-Nam is the National Agricultural Market that was launched in 2016.
Also, the Government of India announced that the Common Service Centres were to take over village level online retail chain. These centres are to do the jobs of Flipkart and Amazon in villages.
The Draft E-Commerce Policy had been released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade. The policy aims to address issues of data privacy and consumer protection. The policy also focuses on individual rights over holding data. It restricts cross-border data flow.
Second Installment of Rs 500 deposited under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana
The Government of India recently approved the second installment of Rs 500 under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.
Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Rs 500 was to be provided in three installments. The second installment has been released under the scheme. More than 20 crore women were benefitted when the first installment was released. The Government had also announced a date plan for the beneficiaries to maintain social distancing in the banks.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana:
The amount was credited to accounts that were registered under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana is a financial inclusion programme that was launched in 2014. Around 15 million bank accounts were opened on the launch of the programme.
Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana:
The GoI had launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana under which Rs 1.7 lakh crore was allocated to fight COVID-19 and help people during lock down. Under the scheme the following were announced
Direct Benefit Transfer of Rs 100 was deposited to old age people, pensioners and Divyangs
Free Cylinders were provided to beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Scheme
The wages of workers under MNREGA was increased from Rs 182 to Rs 202.