Factly articles for 8th September 2020

1.National Immunogenicity & Biologics Evaluation Center(NIBEC)

News: Department of Biotechnology(DBT) Secretary has inaugurated National Immunogenicity & Biologics Evaluation Center(NIBEC).


  • About NIBEC: It is a first of its kind centre in the country developed for evaluation of the immunogenicity of vaccines & antiviral properties of drugs/preparations.
  • Developed by: It has been established jointly by Bharati Vidyapeeth University through its constituent unit Interactive Research School for Health Affairs(IRSHA) and BIRAC-DBT through National Biopharma Mission.

Additional Facts:

  • National Biopharma Mission(NBM): It is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating biopharmaceutical development in the country.
    • Launched Year: It was launched in 2017 at a total cost of Rs 1500 crore and is 50% co-funded by World Bank loan.
    • Implementation: Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
    • Innovate in India(i3) programme: It has been launched under this mission to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the biopharma sector.
  • BIRAC: It is a not-for-profit state owned enterprise under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to strategically empower emerging biotech companies.

2.Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme(SVEP)

News: Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme(SVEP) has extended business support services and capital infusion to 153 blocks of 23 states.As of August 2020, around 1 lakh enterprises are being supported out of which 75% are owned and managed by women.


  • SVEP: It was launched in 2016 by the Ministry of Rural Development as a sub-scheme under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NRLM).
  • Objective: To support the rural poor come out of poverty by supporting them to set up enterprises and provide support till the enterprises stabilize.
    • It also focuses on providing self-employment opportunities with financial assistance and training in business management and soft skills while creating local community cadres for promotion of enterprises.
  • Pillars: It addresses three major pillars of rural start-ups namely – finances, incubation and skill ecosystems.
  • Features:
    • SVEP promotes both individual and group enterprises set-up and promotes enterprises majorly in manufacturing, trading and service sectors.
    • Community resource persons – enterprise promotion (CRP-EP):  These are certified local persons who provide business support services to the entrepreneurs.
    • Block resource center(BRC): It has been set up to monitor and manage the community resource persons, appraise SVEP loan application and acts as the repository of enterprise related information in the concern block.
  • Technical Support: Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad is the technical support partner of SVEP.

Additional Facts:

  • DAY-NRLM: It was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in 2011.
    • Aim: To create efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor by enabling them to increase household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services.
    • Funding: The program is aided in part through investment support by the World Bank.

3.GoI releases draft guidelines for advertisements

News: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has issued draft guidelines on advertisements.The guidelines have been prepared by the Central Consumer Protection Authority(CCPA) under Consumer Protection Act,2019.


  • Coverage: The guidelines cover all advertising and marketing communications regardless of form, format or medium.

Key Draft Guidelines:

  • Endorsement: The endorsements of celebrities through blogs, posts and tweet should be based on adequate information or experience with the product
  • Disclaimers: The disclaimers that are not easily noticeable by or legible or easily understandable to an ordinary consumer will be treated as misleading advertisements under the Consumer Protection Act.
  • On Surrogate advertising: Goods or services whose advertising is otherwise prohibited shall not circumvent such restrictions by advertising other goods or services of which is not prohibited.
  • Free Product: The advertisement should not describe a product or service as free without charge or other similar terms if the consumer has to pay anything other than the cost while purchasing a product or service for delivery of the same.
  • Violation: The violation of the guidelines would face action by the Central Consumer Protection Authority.

Additional Facts:

  • Central Consumer Protection Authority(CCPA): It has been set up under the Consumer Protection Act,2019.
    • Aim: To promote, protect and enforce the rights of the consumer by inquiring into violations of consumer rights, investigating and launching prosecution at the appropriate forum among others.

4.DRDO successfully tests Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

News: Prime Minister has congratulated Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) for the successful flight of Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle(HSTDV).


  • HSTDV: It is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight.
  • Purpose: It is being developed as a carrier vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles and will have multiple civilian applications including missiles of the future for air defence, surveillance besides in the development of energy-efficient, low cost and reusable satellite-launch vehicles.
  • Developed by: It has been developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO).

Additional Facts:


  • Ramjet: It is a form of air-breathing jet engine that uses the vehicle’s forward motion to compress incoming air for combustion without a rotating compressor.
  • Working: Fuel is injected in the combustion chamber where it mixes with the hot compressed air and ignites.A ramjet-powered vehicle requires an assisted take-off like a rocket assist to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust.
  • Drawback: Ramjets work most efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and can operate up to speeds of Mach 6.However, the ramjet efficiency starts to drop when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds.


  • Scramjet: It is an improvement over the ramjet engine as it efficiently operates at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion.Thus it is known as Supersonic Combustion Ramjet or Scramjet.

5.Air Suvidha portal for international fliers

News: Delhi International Airport Limited(DIAL) in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Health and Family Welfare and External Affairs has developed a web portal named ‘AIR SUVIDHA’.


  • Air Suvidha Portal: It aims to provide a contactless service to international fliers who have a connecting flight from Delhi to other states.
  • Features: The portal comprises two forms; a self-declaration form where passengers fill in basic details and information about recent travel history and an exemption form, if approved, will exempt passengers from institutional quarantine.
  • All international passengers need to fill in the self-declaration forms on the portal.Previously, it would be filled at the airport prior to departure.

6.Kamath committee picks 26 sectors for loan restructuring, says RBI

News: Reserve Bank of India has released the K V Kamath-led Committee report and has broadly accepted its recommendations.


  • Background: RBI had formed a five-member committee under the chairmanship of KV Kamath to make recommendations on the financial parameters and the sectors to be considered for the one-time restructuring of loans impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • What did the committee recommend? The committee has recommended five financial ratios for 26 sectors which could be factored by lending institutions while finalizing a resolution plan for a borrower.

7.Peaceful resolution of differences key to ensure regional stability: Defence Minister

News: Indian Defence Minister has attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) defence ministerial meet.During the meeting, Defence Minister has said that peace and security in the region demands a climate of trust, non-aggression, peaceful resolution of differences and respect for international rules.


  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO): It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation founded in 2001 by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Members: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted to the SCO as permanent members in 2017.
  • Observer States: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.
  • Dialogue Partners: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.
  • Secretariat: Beijing, China.
  • Goals:
    • strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member states;
    • promoting effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology, culture, education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection,
    • making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region;
    • Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
  • Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure(RATS): It is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism.Headquarters: Tashkent,Uzbekistan.

8.Centre launches 24/7 toll-free mental health helpline

News: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched a 24/7 toll-free mental health rehabilitation helpline called KIRAN


  • The helpline aims to provide support to people facing anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal thoughts and other mental health concerns.
  • It can be called from landline and mobile phones across the country at the number 1800-599-0019.

9.Literacy rate: Kerala tops the chart with 96.2%, Andhra worst performer at 66.4%

News: National Statistical Office (NSO) has released a report on ‘Household Social Consumption: Education in India as part of 75th round of National Sample Survey. It provides for state-wise detail of literacy rate among the persons aged seven years and above.


Key takeaways:

  • Overall literacy rate in India is about 77.7%.
  • In rural areas, the literacy rate is 73.5% compared to 87.7% in urban areas.
  • The male literacy rate is higher at 84.7% compared to 70.3% among women.
  • Kerala has highest literacy rate at 96.2% followed by Delhi (88.7%), Uttarakhand (87.6%), Himachal Pradesh (86.6%) and Assam (85.9%).
  • Andhra Pradesh featured at the bottom with a rate of 66.4%, followed by Rajasthan (69.7%) and Bihar (70.9%).