Factly articles for 28th May 2020

9 min read

1.Aarogya Setu becomes open source: What does it mean?

News:The Government of India has decided to make the Aarogya Setu app an open source to show its commitment towards transparency, privacy and security. It has also launched a programme called Arogya Setu Bug Bounty Programme.

Facts:

Source code: Software can be divided into two broad categories, Closed Source and Open source Software:

  • Open-source software: It requires no licensing and need not be bought. Its source code is open for everyone to download, examine and modify with an acknowledgement to the original software coder or the company. Examples of such software are WordPress, VLC Media Player among others.
  • Closed Source or Proprietary Software: It has to be bought or licensed from the creator of the software.Examples include Microsoft Windows, Adobe Photoshop.The intellectual property rights of the software even if bought or licensed remains with the creator.

Bug Bounty Programme:

  • Objective: To partner with security researchers and Indian developer community to test the security effectiveness of Aargoya Setu and also to improve or strengthen its security and build user’s trust.
  • The programme will be hosted by the MyGov team and will enable security researchers to avail cash prizes ranging between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh on finding security vulnerabilities within the app.

2.Invasive mussel spreads in backwaters

News: Charru mussel (Mytella strigata), an invasive species is spreading in the backwaters of Kerala.

Facts:

  • Charru mussel(Mytella strigata): It is an invasive species native to the South and Central Americas.
  • It spreads primarily through the discharge of ballast waters of ships (seawater carried in the ballast tanks of ships to improve its stability and balance).
  • It can tolerate a wide variety of environmental conditions (salinity, water temperatures and oxygen levels) which helps them thrive in the new areas they colonise.
  • Threat:
    • They displace native species of mussel and clam species (which local fishermen depend on for their livelihood) from their coastal habitats and cause a reduction in native biodiversity.

Additional Facts:

  • Invasive Species: It is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.

3.One Of World’s Most Elusive Cats Filmed For The First Time In A Decade

News: Naturalists have filmed a Saharan cheetah for the first time in a decade in Hoggar Mountains national park in Algeria.

Facts:

  • Saharan cheetah or Northwest African cheetah is a subspecies of Cheetah endemic to Sahara and the Sahel regions of Africa.
  • Difference: It is different from other Cheetah species because of its shorter coat and nearly white colour.Its face also has few or no spots and tear stripes are almost absent.
  • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered.

Additional Facts:

  • African Cheetah: IUCN Status (Vulnerable)
  • Asian Cheetah: IUCN Status (Critically Endangered)
  • Introduction of African Cheetah in India: Recently, the Supreme Court has allowed the introduction of African Cheetah from Namibia to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary.The Asiatic Cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952.

4.Finance minister attends New Development Bank Governors meet

News:Indian Finance Minister attended the Special Board of Governors meet of New Development bank through video conference.

Facts:

  • New Development Bank(NDB): It is a multilateral development bank jointly founded by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) at the 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza, Brazil in 2014.The Bank formally came into existence in 2015.
  • Purpose: To mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies as well as in developing countries.
  • Headquarters: Shanghai, China.
  • Capital: The initial authorized capital of the bank is $100 billion.
  • Voting Powers: The voting power of each member is equal to the number of its subscribed shares in the capital stock of the bank.

5.Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance of migrant workers

News:The Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognisance of the migrant works plight and has issued notices to the Centre and all state governments.

Facts:

  • Suo Moto cognizance: It is a Latin term which means “on its own”.This means that the court has taken the matter into cognisance on its own and without any plaintiff (person or entity which files a case or petition in the court).
  • Normally, the court takes Suo Moto Cognizance when it receives information about the violation of rights or breach of duty through media or a third party’s notification.

6.Operation Warp Speed: US hopes for Covid-19 vaccine by end of year

News: The United States has launched a program called Operation Warp Speed.

Facts:

  • Operation Warp Speed: It is a public–private partnership initiated by the United States to facilitate and accelerate development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
  • Bodies Involved: It includes components of the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, Private firms and other federal agencies.

7.India and China activate border mechanism talks

News:India and China have activated the working mechanism at the diplomatic level alongside the military-to-military conversation taking place at the field level to disengage and de-escalate the situation.

Facts:

  • The Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs(WMCC) was established in 2012.
  • It is an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination of management of border areas and to exchange views on strengthening communication and cooperation between the border security personnel of the two sides.
  • It is headed by joint secretary-level officials from both sides.They are entrusted to help the special representative for boundary talks, a position currently held by National Security Advisor(NSA).