News: Department of Science and Technology has launched the India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialization Programme.
- The programme has been launched in partnership with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI) and Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises(FASIE) of the Russian Federation.
- Aim: To connect Indian and Russian Science & Technology(S&T) led SMEs and Start-ups for joint R&D for technology development and for cross-country technology adaptation.
News: The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has released its 21st Financial Stability Report.
- Financial Stability Report(FSR): It is a bi-annual report published by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).
- Aim: To review the nature, magnitude and implications of risks that may have a bearing on the macroeconomic environment, financial institutions, markets and infrastructure.
- The report is also the collective assessment of the Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council(FSDC) on risks to financial stability.
- Financial Stability and Development Council(FSDC): It is an apex level body setup in 2010 on the recommendations of Raghuram Rajan committee(2008).
- Objectives: To strengthen and institutionalize the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhancing inter-regulatory coordination and promoting financial sector development.
- Composition: The Chairman of the Council is the Finance Minister and its members include heads of Financial Sector Regulators (RBI, SEBI, PFRDA & IRDA), Secretaries of various Departments, Chief Economic Adviser among others.
- FSDC Sub-committee: It has been set up under the chairmanship of Governor, RBI.It meets more often than the full Council.
News: Union Environment Minister has launched the National Transit Pass System Portal.
- Aim: To bring ease of doing business by issuing pan India transit passes online for seamless movement of timber, bamboo and other minor forest produce without physically going to forest offices.
News: A recent serological survey in Delhi found the presence of coronavirus specific antibodies in about 23% of the samples tested.The results of the survey are being interpreted to suggest that Delhi could be approaching Herd immunity. However, scientists have cautioned against such conclusions.
- What is Herd immunity? It is a stage of an epidemic in which some members of a population group remain protected from infection because a majority of those around them have already developed immunity either through vaccination or because they have been infected earlier.
- What is a Serological Survey? It is a blood test that seeks to assess the prevalence of disease in a population by detecting the presence of specific antibodies against the virus.
- The test only indicates past infections (which triggered an immune response) and is not used to detect active infections.
- How was the survey conducted? The survey was conducted using IgG Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay(ELISA) test which has been approved by ICMR.
- Antibodies: It is a protective protein produced by the immune system to fight external organisms like viruses that try to enter the body.These are produced only after the infection has happened and are specific to the attacking virus or bacterium.