News: International Youth Day is being observed on 12 August,2020.
- International Youth Day(IYD): It was designated by the United Nations(UN) in the year 1999.The first IYD was observed in 2000 and has been observed annually ever since.
- Aim: To raise awareness regarding the cultural and legal issue concerning youth.
- Theme: Youth Engagement for Global Action.
- World Youth Report: Youth Social Entrepreneurship and the 2030 Agenda- The report was released by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs(UNDESA).
- Aim:To contribute to the understanding of how youth social entrepreneurship can both support youth development and help accelerate the implementation of the SDGs.
- #31DaysOfYOUth: It is a social media campaign by the UN to celebrate young people throughout the month of August to help spread the word and strike up a conversation surrounding youth engagement for global action.
- World Programme of Action for Youth(WPAY): It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1995 to provide a policy framework and practical guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people around the world.
- Youth and COVID-19: Impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being report: It has been published by International Labour Organization(ILO).According to the report, COVID-19 may push half the world’s youth into anxiety, depression.
News: Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite(TESS) has finished its primary mission imaging about 75% of the starry sky as part of a two-year-long survey.The mission has found 66 new exoplanets as well as nearly 2,100 candidates astronomers are working to confirm.
- TESS: It was launched in 2018.It is a NASA mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Aim: To discover thousands of exoplanets around nearby bright stars.
- Exoplanet: It is a planet outside the Solar System.The first confirmation of detection of exoplanet occurred in 1992.
- Kepler Space Telescope: It was an observatory in space launched by NASA to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars.It was launched in 2009 and decommissioned in 2018.
News: Spacetech startup Skyroot Aerospace has become the first Indian private company to successfully test fire a rocket engine named Raman.
- Raman: It is a 3-D printed upper stage rocket engine that can send satellites of 250-700 kgs into a lower earth orbit.The engine has fewer parts and weighs less than a conventional rocket engine.
- Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe): It is an independent nodal agency under the Department of Space for allowing space activities and usage of Department of Space (DOS) owned facilities by non-government private entities(NGPEs) as well as to prioritise the launch manifest.
- New Space India Ltd(NSIL): It is a Central Public Sector Enterprise under Department of Space and Commercial Arm of ISRO established to scale up the industry participation in Indian space programmes.
News: World Animal Protection on the eve of World Elephant Day(August 12) has released its report titled “Elephants. Not Commodities”.
- About the report: The report compares research spanning a decade of elephant tourism assessing venues across Thailand, India, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
- India is home to the second-highest number of elephants used in tourism in Asia.
- However, out of the 21 venues housing 509 elephants in India, the report has found that 45%(225) of the elephants were kept in severely inadequate conditions.
- World Animal Protection:It is an international non-profit animal welfare organization founded in 1981.
- It was formerly known as The World Society for the Protection of Animals(WSPA).
- Vision: A world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty has ended.
- Headquarters: London, UK.
News: India and Maldives have signed a contract for development of five eco-tourism zones in Addu atoll of the island nation.
- Addu Atoll also known as Seenu Atoll, is the southernmost atoll of the Maldives.
- Atoll: An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef that surrounds a body of water called a lagoon.
News: A study has reported a high rate of deforestation in Papum Reserve Forest (RF), a major hornbill habitat in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Papum Reserve Forest: It is an Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Location: It is located between two IBAs, Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary to the east and Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary to the west.
- Vegetation: It forms part of the Eastern Himalayas Endemic Bird Area.A large part of the site is covered by Subtropical Dry Evergreen and Semi-evergreen Forests while the higher areas are under Subtropical Broadleaf Hill Forest cover.
- Hornbill Species: The Papum Reserve is a nesting habitat of three species of hornbills:
- Great hornbill- Vulnerable
- Wreathed hornbill – Vulnerable and
- Oriental Pied Hornbill- Least Concern.
- Pakke reserve houses a fourth species,the Rufous-Necked Hornbill- Vulnerable.
News: The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR) is working on developing “mega labs” to ramp up testing for COVID-19 as well as improve the accuracy rate.
- Mega Labs: These labs will use Next Generation Sequencing(NGS) machines (NGS) which are normally used for sequencing human genomes to sequence 1,500 to 3,000 viral genomes at a go to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- Genome sequencing: It means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks called “bases” that make up the DNA molecule.
- Next Generation Sequencing(NGS): It allows parallel Genome sequencing resulting in the generation of giga bases of data in a short amount of time.This has reduced the cost per genome significantly, making genomic data more accessible to individual researchers.
- Comparison with RT-PCR Test: The NGS machines can detect the presence of the virus even in several instances where the traditional RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests fail.
- This is because the RT-PCR test identifies the SARS-CoV-2 virus by exploring only specific sections whereas the genome method can read a bigger chunk of virus genome.
News: The Perseids meteor shower is going to be active from August 17th to 26th,2020.
- Perseids: It is a meteor shower that peaks every year in mid-August.It was first observed over 2,000 years ago.It occurs as the Earth runs into pieces of cosmic debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
- Comets: They are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the Sun.
- Meteors: These are bits of rock and ice that are ejected from comets as they manoeuvre around their orbits around the sun.
- Meteor Shower: It is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate or originate from one point in the night sky.
- These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories.