News: The Central Government has constituted the National Council for Transgender Persons under the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019.
- Aim: To formulate policies, programmes, legislation and projects regarding members of the community for achieving equality and full participation by them.
- To advise the central government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons.
- Monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of transgender persons
- Review and Coordinate the activities of all the departments; redressing grievances of transgender persons and
- Perform such other functions as prescribed by the Centre.
- Chairperson: Union Minister of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- Vice Chairperson: Junior Minister of the Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment.
- Members: The council will have joint secretary-level members from the ministries of health, home, minority affairs, education, rural development, labour and law.
- In addition, there will be a member from the department of pensions, Niti Aayog, National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Women.
- States: Representatives from five states or Union Territories on a rotational basis will be members of the commission.
- Community: Five members of the community and five experts, from non-governmental organisations have also been named to the commission.The tenure of the community members and experts shall be three years.
News: Scientists from Institute of Nano Science & Technology(INST) are making efforts to make magnetic hyperthermia-mediated cancer therapy(MHCT) as desired therapy for inoperable tumours.
- Magnetic hyperthermia-mediated cancer therapy (MHCT): It is a non-invasive cancer treatment.
- Technique: It involves the delivery and localisation of magnetic materials within the targeted tumour site followed by subsequent application of an alternating magnetic field(AMF) thereby generating heat at the tumour site.
- Applications: It can efficiently act against deep-seated inaccessible solid tumours like glioblastoma and is highly thermo-sensitive towards normal cells with minimal toxicity against healthy counterparts.
- Metamaterials: These are artificially crafted materials with unique internal microstructures that give them properties not found in nature. They are made from assemblies of multiple elements fashioned from composite materials such as metals and plastics.
- Potential applications of metamaterials include optical filters, medical devices, remote aerospace applications, sensor detection among others.
- Innovation-cum-Incubation Centre has been established jointly by National Research Development Corporation(NRDC) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Aerospace Laboratories (CSIR-NAL) to promote Aerospace engineering start-ups.
- Purpose: Under this program, start-ups in the area of Aerospace engineering would be incubated, mentored and supported for product and prototype development and their validation.
- NRDC: It was established in 1953 with the objective to promote, develop and commercialise the technologies, inventions and patents from various national institutions and Universities.
- It works under the administrative control of the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research,Ministry of Science & Technology.
News: Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) has prepared a draft standard for the supply system of piped drinking water.
- Aim: To act as a benchmark for maintaining water quality and developing a uniform process for states opting to implement it.
- What does the draft contain? It lays down the requirements for water utilities, including procurement of raw water, its treatment, distribution, quality maintenance and responsibilities of the management.
Key Draft Rules:
- ISO 10500: The after treatment of the drinking water should conform to the Indian Standard(IS) 10500 developed by the BIS.
- IS 10500 outlines the acceptable limit of various substances in drinking water including heavy metals such as arsenic and other parameters like the pH value of water, its turbidity, the total dissolved solids in it, and the colour and odour.
- District Metering Area: The concept of district metering area (DMA) should be adopted where possible.
- DMA is a concept for controlling leakages in the water network which is essentially divided into a number of sectors called the DMAs and where flow meters are installed to detect leaks.
- Sampling of Water: Water should be sampled at the treatment plant every four hours against quality parameters.In the distribution system,
- Water Audit: A water audit should be conducted on a quarterly basis.
- Water audit is a calculation of the amount of water put into distribution against the amount that is consumed.
- BIS: It came into existence in 1986 under BIS Act,1986 and was established as the National Standard Body of India under the BIS Act 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods.
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.
News: The Prime Minister has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of Nuakhai Juhar.
- Nuakhai Juhar: It is the agricultural festival celebrated in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and areas of neighbouring states to welcome the new crop of the season.It is also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat.
- What does Nuakhai mean? Nuakhai is a combination of two words that signifies eating of new rice as ‘nua’ means new and ‘khai’ means eat.
- Features: During the festival, people worship food grain and prepare special meals. Farmers offer the first produce from their lands to Goddess Samaleswari, the famous ‘Mother Goddess’ of Sambalpur district of Odisha.
News: An old drug formulation RLF-100 or Aviptadil is being probed to treat Covid-19 patients after initial studies have shown that the drug is able to halt SARS-CoV-2 virus replication in lungs.
- RLF-100 or Aviptadil: It is an old proprietary drug formulation of synthetic human Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide(VIP).
- Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP): It is released throughout the body but remains mostly concentrated in lungs.
- Significance of VIP:
- It is produced by immune cells and nerve endings and acts as a neurotransmitter.
- It helps improve muscle activity and blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract.
- It has anti-inflammatory and anti-cytokine activity properties that can help in alleviating respiratory distress in COVID19 patients.
News: Employees’ State Insurance Corporation(ESIC) has extended the ‘Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojna’ for another one year to provide relief to workers in view of the Covid pandemic.
- Atal Bimit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana: It was launched in 2018 by Employees State Insurance(ESI) Corporation.
- Aim: To provide financial support to those who lost their jobs or rendered jobless for whatsoever reasons due to changing employment patterns.
- Coverage: The scheme is for Insured Persons(IP) covered under the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948.
Key Changes approved and Eligibility Criteria:
- The payment of relief has been enhanced to 50% of average wages from earlier 25% of average wages payable upto maximum 90 days of unemployment.
- Instead of the relief becoming payable 90 days after unemployment, it shall become due for payment after 30 days.
- The Insured Person can submit the claim directly to the ESIC Branch Office instead of the claim being forwarded by the last employer and the payment shall be made directly in the bank account of IP.
- The Insured Person should have been insurable employment for a minimum period of 2 years before his/her unemployment and should have contributed for not less than 78 days in the contribution period immediately preceding to unemployment.
- Employees State Insurance Act 1948: It was the first major legislation on social security for workers in India.The act provides for medical, cash, maternity, disability and dependent benefits to the Insured Persons under the Act.
- ESIC: It is a Statutory and Administrative body under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.It administers ESIC Act,1948.