Table of Contents:
A. GS1 Related:
B. GS2 Related:
C. GS3 Related:
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYY
D. GS4 Related:
Useful News Articles for UPSC Current Affairs
A. GS1 Related
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- Ministry of Human Resource Development-released a strategy document to build a national teacher platform.
- Platform help teachers access an array of resources that will aid their classroom preparation and help augment professional development.
- The platform to work as national teacher education registry.
- It can be used by teachers to showcase their resume to prospective employers. People looking to clear the teacher eligibility test can take courses on the platform.
- India rolled out the long-awaited anti-pneumonia vaccine– pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) as part of the government’s Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP).
- The vaccine will give protection against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria which cause pneumonia disease and meningitis.
- The vaccine programme aims to protect nearly 270 lakh newborns against 12 preventable diseases every year.
- Pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in children under five years of age globally and in India.
- India accounts for nearly 20% of global pneumonia deaths in this age group.
- Key Fact: India shoulders the highest burden of child pneumonia and diarrhoea deaths with Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola taking up the next four spots.
Context: Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI) Forum
- India will be absent from China’s Belt and Road Initiative (B&RI) Forum beginning Sunday.
- Indian Government response:
- Government supported connectivity projects.
- They “must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
- India from the beginning has objected to the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor part of the B&RI, as it includes projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
- China will unveils plans for infrastructure projects estimated at $500 billion across Asia and Europe.
- India moved an application in the International Court of Justice against the hanging of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been convicted of espionage in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s line of defense:
- 2008 agreement on consular access: Clause VI of the agreement says a ‘decision to grant consular access in cases where detentions and arrests relate to political or security matters” will be taken “on the merits of the case”.
- In the 1999 Atlantique incident, when a Pakistan Navy plane was shot down by India in the disputed Rann of Kutch area, the ICJ ruled in favour of India, saying it had no jurisdiction in the existence of bilateral agreements.
- Appeals still pending : Three forums of appeals left. One is the review in FGCM (Field General Court Martial), the second is the Supreme Court and the final is the mercy petition. So ICJ’s intervention is ruled out.
- China and Pakistan signed a number of infrastructure agreements to boost cooperation on the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, including for the development of the strategic Gwadar port.
- The pacts deal with increasing bilateral cooperation within the framework of China’s ambitious Silk Road project.
C. GS3 Related
- India’s notorious traffic pollution is no longer an urban malaise, its impact is now being felt 4,000 metres above sea level, in the Himalayas.
- Geologists have found high levels of sulphur from diesel emissions along the Manali-Leh highway that snakes through the northwestern Himalayas.
- Soil samples from four sites along the 480 km highway were tested for 10 heavy metals and sulphur among other chemicals.
- While the good news is that heavy metal contamination was found to be low, the soil had significantly high levels of sulphur (490–2033 ppm), which the scientists attribute to diesel exhaust from heavy traffic on this mountainous road.
- Indian diesel contains some of the highest concentrations of sulphur in the world and an estimated 70% of automobiles running on Indian roads use diesel,
- NASA has dropped the idea of putting astronauts aboard the first integrated flight of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft – Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1).
- This is the first in a broad series of exploration missions that plans to take humans to deep space, and eventually to Mars.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his government will soon make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe medicines by generic names.
- The decision was to ensure drug prices remain affordable.
- Medical Council of India (MCI) – issued a notice reminding doctors that according to a 2016 amendment to the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, they are supposed to prescribe drugs with generic names.
- Indian Medical Association (IMA) response-“ The judgment to choose a rational drug and its format vests only with the Registered Medical Practitioners. This right of the medical profession is sacrosanct.”
- National Institute of Biologicals for the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation report
- Conducted a survey onsubstandard and spurious drugs.
- Report established that branded medicines are in no way assurance of quality.
- Survey conducted from 2014-2016 and in which 47,954 samples of drugs were collected from across the country and put to test
- Only 13 samples (0.024%) were spurious
- 1,850 samples (3.16%) were substandard.
- It also showed that while in retail outlets 3% of the medicines were substandard, in government pharmacies the figure was a staggering 10%.
- 26 out of 46 samples (56.52%) from the Maharashtra facility of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Limited were found to be substandard in the survey.
- Cipla Limited from different manufacturing units across India were found to be substandard in the survey.
- Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. had nine substandard samples, while Zydus Healthcare Limited had six.
- Health Ministry has initiated action against defaulting pharmaceutical companies.
- NEED OF THE HOUR:
- The government, along with the World Health Organization (WHO), must push drug companies to comply with the latter’s good manufacturing practices.
- The capacity of the State FDAs [Food and Drug Authorities] to start performing technical evaluation before new manufacturers of older medicines are licensed, and actively identify and remove substandard drugs from the supply chain.
- The country needs regular surveys and longitudinal studies to weed out substandard medicines from government as well as retail shops.
Context: Malware attacked police cyber networks in Andhra Pradesh.
- Microsoft had released a patch against flaw in March but many system administrators failed to patch all computers and the ones which were unpatched became vulnerable to this attack.
- The police system in Andhra Pradesh was impacted because they were using an older version of Microsoft operating system and poor patch maintenance.
- Kaspersky response: visibility of malware may be limited and incomplete and the range of targets and victims is likely much, much higher.
- WannaCry has the ability to spread itself within corporate networks, without user interaction, by exploiting a known vulnerability in Microsoft Windows.
- Computers which do not have the latest Windows security updates applied are at risk of infection
- Once the ransomware encrypts data files on the affected computer, it asks users to pay the ransom in bitcoins.
- While the initial payment demanded is of $300, the ransom note indicates that the payment amount will be doubled after three days. If payment is not made after seven days, the encrypted files will be deleted.
- A patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it.This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, with such patches usually called bugfixes or bug fixes, and improving the usability or performance. Although meant to fix problems, poorly designed patches can sometimes introduce new problems (see software regressions).
- WannaCry: is a ransomware program targeting Microsoft Windows. In May 2017, a large cyber-attack using it was launched, infecting over 230,000 computers in 99 countries, demanding ransom payments in bitcoin in 28 languages. The attack has been described by Europol as unprecedented in scale.
- Virulent computer malware spreading across the globe has hit government departments, universities and companies in nearly 100 countries.
- The WannaCryptor 2.0 ‘ransomware’, / WannaCry, spreads using a flaw in older Microsoft Windows systems
- The biggest hit has been the U.K.’s National Health Service, which has been forced to halt treatments and surgeries.
- Reported attacks in Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Spain, Germany, China, France, England and Russia
- Several cyber security firms have identified this as the biggest cyberattack in over a decade, after the Conficker worm infected millions of computers.
What is ransomware?
- It is malware that encrypts the files on an infected system and then demands a ransom to decrypt them, with escalation in the demand over time.
- The ransom demand is in Bitcoins, the cyber cryptocurrency that is hard to trace.
- The WannaCryptor 2.0 has been asking a ransom of the Bitcoin equivalent of $300.
How it spreads?
- It often reaches victims as mail attachment.
- Once opened, it spreads to other computers in the network exploiting the Windows vulnerability.
- It originates from a tool called EternalBlue that was among the NSA-related tools dumped online in April by an anonymous group, Shadow Brokers.
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Question 1: Recently government introduced pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) under its Universal immunization programme, PCV is against
- Pneumonia and meningitis.
- Pneumonia and polio
- Pneumonia and TB
- None of the above.
Question 2: “WannaCry” is
- Part of Cry NGO.
- Software progamme developed by U.S.
- None of the above
Question 3: The 2017 India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit was held in which city?
- New Delhi
Question 4: The 2017 multinational military exercise “Eager Lion” has started in which of the following countries?
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