18 May Current Affairs
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May 20, 2020
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19 May Current Affairs

ICGS Sachet Commissioned in Goa: First Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel

In News:

On May 15, 2020, the Indian Coast Guard commissioned the first Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel, ICGS Sachet in Goa. The ceremony was chaired by the Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh virtually.

Highlights:

ICGS Sachet is one of the five ships under CGOPV (Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vehicle) project. The project was a follow-on project of the earlier six ship CGOPV project that was completed in 2017.

About ICGS Sachet:

All the five ships including ICGS Sachet are 105 metres long and are capable of carrying 2,350 tonnes of load. These vessels are fitted with technologically advanced machinery and control systems. They make them the most advance patrol vessels in the Indian Coast Guard system.

The ships have been designed to carry five high speed boats and twin-engine light helicopters.

CG OPV project:

Under the CG OPV that completed in 2017, six Samarth-class ships were commissioned to the Indian Coast Guard. They are now in operation with the ICG.

Samarth Class OPV:

The Samarth Class OPV were preceded by the Vishwast Class OPV and succeeded by the Vikram Class OPVs. It was initiated following the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Because, the intelligence unit found that the terrorists involved in the attack reached India by seas.

Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme approved

In News:

Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme was approved by the Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh. The scheme is to be implemented at an estimated amount of Rs 400 crores.

Highlights:

The Defence Research Development Organization and the 41 ordinance factories in the country have created testing facilities for ammunition, firearms, radar and electronic arms at the expense of GoI.

This will help in promoting indigenous defence capacities of the country especially amongst MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and startups.

About the Testing Facilities:

The testing Facilities will be used to test UAVs (Unmanned Vehicles), radars, drones, rubber testing, telecom equipment testing, shock testing, noise testing, ship motion testing, blast testing, environment test facilities testing, etc.

What is the plan?

Under the scheme, over six to eight test facilities are to be brought in the country. 75% of the cost to set up these facilities will be born by the Central Government. The rest of 25% is to come through private entities and the state government.

Defence Industrial Corridors:

There are two main industrial corridors in India. They are in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The testing centres will also help these industries to test their products.

Defence Exports:

The scheme will also help to aid India’s Defence Export targets. During the Defexpo 2020, India had set a target of boosting defence exports to 5 billion USD in next five years.

Injectable Silk-Fibroin based Hydrogel developed by JNCASR

In News:

The JNCASR (Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research) has developed injectable silk-fibroin based hydrogel to deliver sustained insulin to diabetic patients.

The fibroin-based hydrogel was developed using biocompatible additives. The gel developed will ease insulin delivery in diabetic patients. The gel was first tested in rats and was successful.

Highlights:

The researchers have found that subcutaneous injection of insulin with fibroid based hydrogel formed an active depot under the skin. This helped to leach out insulin, restore physiological glucose for a longer period of time.

Diabetes:

The body cells of Diabetic patients do not get glucose. This is because insulin that helps glucose in blood reach body cells is not secreted properly in these patients.

The fibroin-based hydrogel increases insulin level in the blood for a longer period. The scientists found that it made insulin available in the blood for even four days without lowering blood glucose.

What is Fibroin?

Fibroin is an insoluble protein. Silk has two proteins in its raw state called sericin and fibroin. The fibroin is produced by silk worm. It has three chains and light and heavy glycoprotein.

What is a Hydrogel?

A Hydrogel is a network of polymer chains. They are made of polyvinyl alcohol, acrylate polymers and sodium polyacrylate and copolymers.

Applications of Hydrogel:

Hydrogels are highly absorbent. They are used in tissue engineering. The hydrogels that are responsive specific molecules are used as biosensors. They are also used in diapers and sanitary napkins. They are also used in breast implants.

Injectable hydrogels are used as drug carriers.

What are smart hydrogels?

The smart hydrogels are used in artificial intelligence systems. They are environmentally sensitive. They have the ability to sense changes of temperature, pH, concentration of metabolite, etc.

Light Weight Carbon Foam Batteries developed by CSIR

In News:

The researcher from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed light carbon foam that will replace lead batteries. The carbon foam is easy to fabricate, non-toxic and affordable.

Highlights:

The researcher is a recipient of INSPIRE Faculty award. The material developed by the institute has the potential to replace lead-acid batteries. It is also useful to make heat sink, electromagnetic interference shielding in aerospace, electrode for lead-acid batteries, hydrogen storage and water purification systems.

Benefits:

The raw materials to make the carbon foam is easily available. It also helps to remove oil, arsenic and other metals from contaminated water.

Carbon Foam Batteries:

The Carbon foams are porous. The pores in the batteries help increase efficiency. The micro cells completely make a new type of electrolyte structure. Hence, the power, energy and life cycle of the batteries increases.

How are carbon foam batteries better than Lead-acid batteries?

Carbon Foam batteries have better life cycle as compared to the lead-acid batteries. They are built three-fifth the cost of other advanced batteries.

India in Carbon Foam Batteries:

The world’s first carbon foam manufacturing unit was set up in Gujarat in 2011. 20% of the produce in these industries are being exported and the rest are being used for electric vehicles.

Next Generation Biodegradable Metal Implants developed by ARCI scientists

In News:

The scientists of Advanced Research Centre for powder metallurgy and new materials along with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences (SCTIMST) have developed new biodegradable implant. The implants were developed from Iron-Manganese alloy.

Highlights:

The alloy is highly applicable for making biodegradable orthopedic implant applications and stents. These implants participate in the healing process and gradually degrade maintaining the mechanical integrity. They do not leave out any residues in the human body. They are certainly better alternatives to current implants.

Working:

During the degradation process, calcium phosphate deposits on the implants. This is caused due to local alkalization. When the calcium and phosphates getting deposited gets saturated, they allow the cells they allow the cells to form into tissues forming tissues.

Current Implants:

The current implants cause long term side effects such as toxicity, thrombosis and chronic inflammation. These side effects are not present in biodegradable implants. The bio degradable materials are iron, zinc and manganese.

Biodegradable Metal Implants

In News:

Scientists at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), under the Department of Science & Technology (DST) has developed new generation Iron-Manganese based alloys for biodegradable metal implants for use in humans.

About:

Iron-Manganese based alloy Fe-Mn (having Mn composition of more than 29% by weight) is a promising biodegradable metallic implant which exhibits single austenitic phase (non-magnetic form of iron) with MRI compatibility.

The alloy also showed a degradation rate in the range of 0.14-0.026 mm per year in the simulated body fluid, which means that the Fe-Mn alloy exhibits mechanical integrity for 3-6 months and completely disappears from the body in 12-24 months.

The newly developed Fe-Mn based alloys are suitable for biodegradable stent and orthopedic implant applications.

Significance:

These Biodegradable materials (Fe, Mg, Zn, and polymer) can participate in the healing process and then degrade gradually by maintaining the mechanical integrity without leaving any implant residues in the human body.

These are better alternatives to currently used metallic implants which remain permanently in the human body and can cause long-term side effects like systemic toxicity, chronic inflammation, and thrombosis.

3rd Tranche Under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan

In News:

Union Finance Minister announced the 3rd Tranche of measures under Atmanirbhar Bharat to strengthen Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Processing Sectors.

Measures to strengthen Infrastructure Logistics and Capacity Building for Agriculture & Allied Sectors:

Financing facility of Rs. One Lakh crore will be provided for funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregation points. It will be financed and managed by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

A Rs. 10,000 crore scheme will be launched for Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFE). It will help 2 lakh MFEs who need technical upgradation to attain FSSAI food standards, build brands and marketing.

The Government will launch the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) with an outlay of Rs 20,000 crore for marine and inland fisheries.

An Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs. 15,000 crore will be set up to support private investment in Dairy Processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.

The National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) will cover 10,00,000 hectare under Herbal cultivation in next two years with outlay of Rs. 4,000 crore.

Beekeeping initiatives (worth Rs 500 crore): Government will implement a scheme for Infrastructure development related to Integrated Beekeeping Development Centres, Collection, Marketing and Storage Centres, Post-Harvest & value Addition facilities etc; and Implementation of standards & Developing traceability system.

“Operation Greens” run by Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI) will be extended from Tomatoes, onion and potatoes (TOP) crops to ALL fruit and vegetables.

Measures for Governance and Administrative Reforms for Agriculture Sector:

Government will amend Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to deregulate Agriculture food stuffs including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potato. Stock limit will be imposed under very exceptional circumstances.

A Central law will be formulated for Agriculture Marketing Reforms to provide adequate choices to the farmer to sell their produce at remunerative price; barrier free Inter-State Trade; and a framework for e-trading of agriculture produce.

The Government will finalise a facilitative legal framework to enable farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters etc. in a transparent manner.

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