Factly articles for 5th August 2020

12 min read

1.Use app to monitor COVID-19 biomedical waste, SC to civic bodies

News: The Supreme Court has made it mandatory for all municipal corporations and state pollution control boards to use the ‘COVID19BWM APP’ for tracking biomedical waste daily.

Facts:

  • COVID19BWMAPP: It is an application launched by the Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) to track biomedical waste.
  • It allows a generator of waste (urban local body in the case of home and hospital); the picker of the waste (transport of the ULB) and the waste treatment operator to feed in data so that COVID-19 biomedical waste can be tracked and monitored.

Additional Facts:

  • Biomedical Waste: It comprises human & animal anatomical waste, treatment apparatus like needles, syringes and other materials used in health care facilities in the process of treatment and research.
  • CPCB: It is a statutory organisation constituted in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,1974.
  • Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,1981.It also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act,1986.

2.24 million may drop out of school due to COVID-19 impact: U.N.

News: United Nations(UN) has released a report titled “Policy Brief: Education During Covid-19 and Beyond”.

Facts:

Key Takeaways:

  • Around 24 million children and youth (from pre-primary to tertiary) could drop out or not have access to school due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact.

Additional Facts:

  • Save Our Children: It is a campaign launched by a coalition of global organisations to amplify the voices of children and young people and urge governments worldwide to recognise investment in education as critical to recovery.
  • Global Education Coalition(GEC): It has been launched by UNESCO to facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption.
    • Members: It is an open partnership that includes international organizations (ILO,UNICEF,WB among others) , private sector partners (Facebook, Google) and Philanthropic and non-profit organizations(Khan Academy among others).
  • Global Education Monitoring Report 2020: It has been released by UNESCO to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education as well as other education-related points in the SDG Agenda.

3.Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment(WEE) Initiative

News: Eleven women entrepreneurs have been shortlisted for awards under ‘Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment’ initiative.

Facts:

  • Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment(WEE): It is a first of its kind social national initiative to strengthen women ecosystem.
  • Founded by: The initiative has been founded by IIT Delhi and is supported by the Department of Science and Technology.
  • Aim: To focus and ignite a fire amongst women from a college going student to a middle aged housewife to embrace entrepreneurship as a viable fulfilling career option.

4.Union Minister of MSME approves Khadi Agarbatti Atma Nirbhar Mission

News: Union Minister for MSME has approved a program proposed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC) named “Khadi Agarbatti Atma Nirbhar Mission”.

Facts:

  • Khadi Agarbatti Atma Nirbhar Mission: It aims at creating employment for unemployed and migrant workers in different parts of the country while increasing domestic Agarbatti production substantially.
  • Mode: The scheme has been designed based on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
  • Features: Under this, KVIC will provide Automatic Agarbatti making machines and powder mixing machines to the artisans through the private Agarbatti manufacturers who will sign the agreement as business partners.
  • Further, KVIC will provide a 25% subsidy on the cost of the machines and will recover the remaining 75% of the cost from the artisans in installments every month.
  • The business partner will provide the raw material to the artisans for making Agarbatti and will pay them wages on a job work basis.

Additional Facts:

  • KVIC: It is a statutory body established under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act,1956.It functions under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

5.Union Minister of Agriculture launches the Sahakar Cooptube NCDC Channel

News: Union Agriculture Minister has launched the ‘Sahakar Cooptube NCDC Channel’.

Facts:

  • Sahakar Cooptube NCDC Channel: It is a YouTube channel launched by National Cooperative Development Corporation(NCDC) to encourage farmers and the youth to take benefit of cooperatives.

Additional Facts:

  • NCDC: It is an apex statutory institution established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
  • Yuva Sahakar scheme: It is implemented by NCDC to encourage young entrepreneurs into start-ups in the cooperative sector by providing them cheaper loans.
  • Sahakar Mitra Scheme: It is an Internship Program by NCDC to provide short term training to professional graduates to get experience in areas of functioning of NCDC and related aspects of cooperatives.

6.IIT-M, start-up make remote patient monitoring device

Facts: Institute of Technology Madras(IIT-M) and healthcare startup Helyxon has developed a device named OXY2.It is a wireless remote patient monitoring device that can be used for monitoring health parameters such as temperature, oxygen saturation, respiration rate and heart rate.

7.Time capsules: what they contain, how they are installed and why

News: Ahead of the laying of the foundation stone for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, claims and denials have emerged about plans by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust to put in a time capsule.

Facts:

  • Time Capsule: It is a container of any size or shape which accommodates documents, photos and artefacts typical of the current era and is buried underground, for future generations to unearth.
  • How are Time Capsules made? It requires special engineering so that the contents don’t decay even if pulled out after a century.Material such as aluminium and stainless steel are used for the encasing and documents are often reproduced on acid-free paper.
  • Examples of Time Capsule: In 2017, a 400-year-old time capsule was found inside the statue of Jesus Christ in Burgos, Spain carrying economic, political and cultural information dating back to the year 1777.
  • Time Capsule in India: The time capsule was placed underground outside the Red Fort in 1972 by then PM Indira Gandhi.However,it was taken out by the subsequent government.

Additional Facts:

  • International Time Capsule Society(ITCS): It is based in the US and formed in 1990 to estimate the number of time capsules in the world.As per its database, there are 10,000-15,000 times capsules worldwide.

8.What US job curbs mean for Indian H1-B holders

News: US President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring federal agency from hiring H-1B visa holders and other foreign workers in place of US citizens or green card holders.

Facts:

  • The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Dependents of H-1B visa holders get H-4 visas.
  • According to data from the US Department of Labor, of 65,000 new visa applications approved every year, an average 1,800 to 2,000, or roughly 3%, are H-1B visas granted to workers employed by federal agencies.
  • Impact of the new order on Indians in USA:
    • It will impact Indian workers hired by federal agencies.
    • The order will also impact workers of Indian companies that are on contract with federal agencies.