Factly articles for 7th July 2020

13 min read

1.China reports suspected case of ‘Black Death’ plague. All you need to know

News: China has issued a warning after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague also known as the “Black Death”.

Facts:

  • Plague: It is an infectious disease caused by Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria usually found in small mammals and their fleas.
  • Types:
    • Bubonic plague: It infects a person’s lymphatic system (which is a part of their immune system) causing inflammation in the lymph nodes.If left untreated, the bubonic plague can convert into either pneumonic or septicemic plague.Symptoms include fever, chills, weakness and headaches.  
    • Pneumonic plague: It is the ‘most virulent form of plague’ and can be fatal within 24 to 72 hours.It occurs when the bacteria infects the lungs.It is the type of plague that can be transmitted from human to human.Symptoms are chest pain, fever and cough.
    • Septicemic plague: It happens when the bacteria enters the bloodstream and multiplies there.
  • Treatment: Plague can be treated with antibiotics and recovery is common if treatment starts early.In areas where there is a plague outbreak, people with symptoms should go to a health centre for evaluation and treatment.

2.E-waste to increase 38% by 2030: Report

News: The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 has been released.

Facts:

  • The report is a collaborative product of the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership(GESP) formed by UN University(UNU), International Telecommunication Union(ITU) and International Solid Waste Association(ISWA) in close collaboration with the UN Environment Programme(UNEP).

Key Takeaways:

  • Global e-waste will increase by 38% in the decade between 2020 and 2030.
  • Asia generated the greatest volume of e-waste in 2019 followed by the Americas and Europe.

Additional Facts:

  • E-Waste(Electronic-Waste): It is a term used to describe old, end-of-life or discarded electronic appliances.It includes computers, mobiles, consumer electronics among others.
  • United Nations University(UNU): It is the academic and research arm of the United Nations.Its mission is to help resolve global issues related to human development and welfare through collaborative research and education.It has a diplomatic status as a U.N. institution and is headquartered in Tokyo,Japan.
  • International Telecommunication Union(ITU): It is the United Nations specialized agency founded in 1865 for issues related to information and communication technologies(ICT).
  • International Solid Waste Association(ISWA): It is a non governmental, independent and non-profit association which aims to promote and develop professional waste management worldwide as a contribution to sustainable development.

3.Mission Vriksharopan-2020

Facts: Mission Vriksharopan 2020 has been launched by the Uttar Pradesh Government.Under this programme, more than 25 crore tree saplings will be planted across the state.

4.Explained:What is Kawasaki Disease?

News: Around the world, including in India, children with Covid-19 infection have shown some symptoms similar to those associated with a rare illness called Kawasaki disease.

Facts:

  • Kawasaki disease:The disease derives its name from a Japanese paediatrician, Tomisaku Kawasaki who reported the first case in 1961 — a four-year-old boy — and later found similar cases in other children.
  • Causes: The exact cause of Kawasaki disease is unknown.However,the disease is believed to be an immunological reaction to an infection or a virus.
  • Vulnerable Group: The disease more commonly affects children younger than 5 years old.
  • Symptoms: Its symptoms include red eyes, rashes and swollen tongue with reddened lips and an inflamed blood vessel system all over the body. There is also constant high fever for at least five days.
  • Effects of disease: The disease affects coronary functions in the heart and is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children.

5.Kazakhstan’s smallest saiga population records mass calving

News: Saiga Antelope in Kazakhstan has experienced its largest mass calving in recent years.

Facts:

  • Saiga Antelope: It is a large migratory herbivore of Central Asia found in Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
  • IUCN Status: Critically endangered
  • CITES: Appendix II
  • Threats: Poaching and illegal trade, habitat fragmentation, disease, droughts and temperature extremes.

6.Assam govt decides to upgrade Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary to a national park

News: Assam government has decided to upgrade the Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary into a national park amid an ongoing row over allowing coal mining within its jurisdiction.

Facts:

  • Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary is also known as the Jeypore Rainforest.It is located in the districts of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia in Assam.
  • Vegetation:It is a deciduous rainforest interspersed with semi-evergreen and lush green flora.
  • Habitat: Chinese pangolin, Flying fox, Rhesus macaque, Assamese macaque, Himalayan black bear, Lesser Adjutant Stork, White and Slender-billed Vulture, Leopard, Golden Cat, Jungle Cat and Marbled Cat.

Note: Post upgradation, Dehing Patkai will be the sixth national park in Assam — the other five being Kaziranga, Nameri, Manas, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.

Additional Facts:

          Wildlife Sanctuary             National Park
It is a protected area constituted for the protection and conservation of wildlife or its environment.They are declared in areas that are considered to be of adequate ecological, geomorphological and natural significance.It is a protected area constituted for the protection and conservation of wildlife or its environment.They are declared in areas that are considered to be of adequate ecological, geomorphological and natural significance.
Some restricted human activities are allowed inside the Sanctuary areaNo human activity is permitted inside the national park except for the ones permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden of the state.
Boundaries of sanctuaries are not well definedBoundaries of a national park are well defined
Wildlife Sanctuary can be upgraded as a National Park. National Park cannot be downgraded as a Sanctuary

7.Strength of M.P. Ministry exceeds Constitutional limit, says Congress

News: Congress is planning to move the court as the strength of the Council of Ministers in Madhya Pradesh reportedly exceeds the prescribed limit.

Facts:

Constitutional Provision Related to the Issue:

  • Article 164(1A): It prescribes that the total number of Ministers including the Chief Minister in the Council of Ministers in a State shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the Legislative Assembly of that State.
  • Exception: Provided that the number of Ministers, including the Chief Minister in a State shall not be less than twelve.
  • Constitutional amendment: This provision was introduced through the 91st Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2003.

Additional Facts:

  • Article 163(1): It provides that there shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister as the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions.
  • Article 164(1): It provides that the Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister.
    • However in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha there shall be a Minister in charge of tribal welfare who may in addition be in charge of the welfare of the scheduled castes and backward classes or any other work.
  • Article 164(4): It provides that a person can remain as Minister without being a member of the state legislature for a period of six consecutive months

8.Explained: NASA research says the Moon is more metallic than thought before.What this means

News: NASA has found evidence of greater quantities of metals such as iron and titanium on the Moon’s subsurface.

Facts:

  • The metallic distribution was observed by the Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter(LRO) spacecraft.
  • Significance of the study: The observations could help in drawing a clearer connection between Earth and the Moon as it is believed that moon was created after Mars-sized protoplanet collided with Earth breaking off a piece of our planet that went on to become its satellite.

Additional Facts:

  • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Mission: Launched in 2009, it is a NASA robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon.
  • Aim: To make a 3D map of the moon’s surface from lunar polar orbit to help identify sites with high scientific value, favourable terrain and the environment necessary for safe future robotic and human lunar missions.