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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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).
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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%).