Madhuca Diplostemon: Rediscovered in Kerala
Recently, Madhuca diplostemon tree has been rediscovered after a gap of more than 180 years from a sacred grove in Kollam district, Kerala.
The tree is locally known as Kavilippa in Malayalam.
It has been identified by the scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) at Palode, Kerala.
The threatened species of the Western Ghats was believed to be extinct.
This is the second time a tree of this species has ever been located and only one mature tree has been found so far, which makes this remarkable rediscovery extremely valuable from a scientific, environmental and conservation point of view.
In 1835, Robert Wight, a surgeon-botanist with the East India Company, found the first specimen.
Since its original collection, specimens of the tree were never collected again, neither from its locality nor elsewhere, and botanical explorations in Eastern and Western Ghats failed to locate the species.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has included it in the endangered species list.
However, since there is only one specimen left in a single locality, it is eligible to be categorised as ‘Critically Endangered’.
The JNTBGRI is planning to undertake the ex-situ conservation of this species through the institute’s species recovery programme.
Holographic Imaging Based Method
Scientists from New York University have developed a method using holographic imaging to detect both viruses and antibodies.
Holography is a process that creates three-dimensional images called holograms using laser beams, the properties of interference and diffraction, light intensity recording, and illumination of the recording.
About the Method:
It uses laser beams to record holograms of the specially prepared test beads.
The surfaces of the beads are activated with biochemical binding sites that attract either antibodies or virus particles, depending on the intended test.
Binding antibodies or viruses causes the beads to grow by a few billionth parts of a metre.
Researchers detect this growth through changes in the beads’ holograms. The test can analyse a dozen beads per second.
The method can test either for the virus (current infection) or antibodies (immunity).
The breakthrough has the potential to aid in medical diagnoses, and specifically, those related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
If fully realised, this proposed test could be done in under 30 minutes, is highly accurate, and can be performed by minimally trained personnel.
Supreme Court Terms 2005 Law On Domestic Violence As ”Milestone”
The Supreme Court recently delivered a judgement in which it held that the relief granting right to residence to a married woman under the domestic violence law by a criminal court is “relevant” and can be considered even in civil proceedings seeking her eviction from the matrimonial home.
Alongside, the Court termed the 2005 law on protection of women from domestic violence as a “milestone”.
Important observations made by the Court:
Despite the 2005 law, offences against women is “rampant” in this country and they face “violence in some form or the other on almost every day”.
A woman resigns her fate to the never ending cycle of enduring violence and discrimination as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a partner or a single woman in her lifetime.
Non-retaliation by women against violence, coupled with the absence of laws addressing women’s issues, ignorance of the existing laws enacted for them and societal attitude makes them vulnerable.
What is Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005?
It is an act to provide for more effective protection of the rights of Women guaranteed under the Constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
It is the first significant attempt in India to recognise domestic abuse as a punishable offence, to extend its provisions to those in live-in relationships, and to provide for emergency relief for the victims, in addition to legal recourse.
The progress of any society depends on its ability to protect and promote the rights of its women. Guaranteeing equal rights and privileges to women by the Constitution of India had marked the step towards the transformation of the status of the women in this Country.
Saral Jeevan Bima
It is a standard individual term life insurance product unveiled recently by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI).
This will help customers make an informed choice and reduce mis-selling.
All life insurers will have to offer the standard product by January 1, 2021.
Key features of the product- Saral Jeevan Bima:
It will be a non-linked, non-participating individual pure risk premium life insurance plan providing for payment of the sum assured in lump sum to the nominee in case of the insured’s death during the policy term.
Eligibility: The plan will be for those in the 18-65 years age group.
Policy term will be 5-40 years.
It allows for a maximum maturity age of 70 years.
Sum assured will be a minimum of ₹5 lakh and a maximum of ₹25 lakh. Insurers, however, have the option of offering sum assured beyond ₹25 lakh with all other terms and conditions remaining the same.
No restrictions: The product shall be offered to individuals without restrictions on gender, place of residence, travel, occupation or educational qualifications.
There will be only one exclusion under the policy – exclusion for suicide.
There will be no maturity benefit. Neither will there be any surrender value nor can any loan be taken against the product.
The policy will also offer optional Accident Benefit and Permanent Disability Rider.
Why this product? Don’t we already have enough insurance products in the market?
There are many term products in the market with varying terms and conditions. But, Customers who cannot devote adequate time and energy to make informed choices find it difficult to select the right product. Therefore, It was felt necessary to introduce a standard, individual life insurance product with simple features and standard terms and conditions.
Mandatory pure life insurance will also help in inclusion and insurance penetration in the country.