Factly articles for October 7th, 2020

  1. Union Health Minister releases ‘Ayush Standard Treatment Protocol’ to fight Coronavirus

News: Ministry of Health and Ayush has released the ‘Ayush Standard Treatment Protocol’ for management of Covid-19 in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).


  • Background: Government had set up an Interdisciplinary Committee for Integration of Ayurveda and Yoga Interventions in the ‘National Clinical Management Protocol: COVID-19’ which was chaired by Dr V M Katoch, former Director General ICMR and group of experts.
  • Aim: To bring in uniformity and consistency in the Ayush-based Covid-19 treatment across the country.
  • What does the protocol contain? The protocol promotes the use of ashwagandha, guduchi, pippali, Ayush 64 tablets in different doses and yoga to prevent Covid, treat mild symptoms and for post-Covid self-care.

Additional Facts:

  • Ayush for Immunity: It is a three month campaign launched by the Ministry of Ayush to increase awareness about affordable and easy practices that can be adopted for enhancing immunity and preventing any disease.
  • National AYUSH Morbidity and Standardized Terminologies Electronic (NAMASTE) Portal: It was launched in the year 2017 to provide standardized terminologies & morbidity codes for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems of medicines.

2. India, Myanmar agree to work towards operationalization of Sittwe Port

News: India and Myanmar have agreed to work towards the operationalization of the Sittwe port.


  • Sittwe Port: It is a deepwater port constructed by India in 2016 at Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State in Myanmar.
  • The port is situated at the mouth of the Kaladan River and is being financed by India as a part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project.

Additional Facts:

  • Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project: It is aimed at connecting the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Myanmar.
    • In Myanmar, it will then link Sittwe seaport to Paletwa in Chin State via the Kaladan river boat route and then from Paletwa by road to Mizoram state in Northeast India.
  • Significance: The project will reduce distance from Kolkata to Sittwe by approximately 1328 km and will reduce the need to transport goods through the narrow Siliguri corridor also known as Chicken’s Neck.

3. Delhi zoo generated ecosystem services worth Rs 422.76 crore in 2019-20 : Study

News: According to a study by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the annual economic value of ecosystem services provided by the Delhi zoo works out to be ₹422 crore.The study was commissioned by the Central Zoo Authority.


  • Ecosystem Services: These are the direct and indirect contributions of the ecosystems to humankind’s well-being.
  • Classification: Ecosystem services can be categorized into four types:
    • Provisioning services: Products obtained from ecosystems such as food, freshwater, fibre, genetic resources and medicines.
    • Regulating services: Benefits obtained from regulation of ecosystem processes such as flood prevention, climate regulation, water purification and pollination
    • Supporting services: Non-material benefits obtained from ecosystems (e.g. nutrient cycling, soil formation).
    • Cultural services: Non-material benefits that people obtain from ecosystems such as spiritual enrichment, intellectual development, recreational activities and aesthetic values.

Additional Facts:

  • Central Zoo Authority: It is a statutory body established in1992 under the Wildlife Protection Act,1972.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
  • Objective: To regulate zoos across the country and to lay down guidelines under which animals may be transferred among zoos nationally and internationally.
  • Composition: It is chaired by the Union Environment Minister with 10 members and member secretary.

4. Scientists discovers mechanism against Xoo Infection in Rice

News: Scientists from the Centre for Plant Molecular Biology (CPMB) have uncovered the mechanism by which a bacterium called Xoo interacts with rice plants and causes disease.


  • Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo infection): It is a serious bacterial leaf blight disease in rice.It is also known as Bacterial blight.
  • Effect: Itcauses huge yield losses to rice cultivation throughout the world.
  • Prevention: The most-common method of defending against rice bacterial blight is the cultivation of rice varieties with genes that confer resistance to Xoo infection.
  • New approach: Scientists are working on the treatment of rice with cellulase, a cell wall degrading enzyme secreted by Xoo which induces rice immune responses and protects rice from subsequent infections.

5. My Ganga My Dolphin campaign launched at six sites across river Ganga

News: National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG), the Wildlife Institute of India and the Forest Department has launched the My Ganga My Dolphin campaign on the occasion of Ganga River Dolphin Day.


  • Aim: To promote and boost Dolphin based ecotourism in the country and to conduct Dolphin census.
  • The programme also includes dolphin safari in six sites across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

Additional Facts:

  • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG): It has been established as an Authority under National Council for River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Act, 2016.It is the implementing agency of the Namami Gange Programme at the national level.
  • Gangetic river dolphin:It is India’s national aquatic animal found in parts of the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra river systems in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. IUCN Red List: Endangered.
  • Wildlife Institute of India(WII): It was established in 1982 as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change.It carries out wildlife research in areas of study like Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Management among others.Headquarters: Dehradun, India.

6. Delhi Government launches Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virudh campaign

Facts: Delhi Government has launched an anti-pollution campaign named Yuddh Pradushan Ke Virudh campaign with the aim to reduce air pollution levels in Delhi during winter.The campaign includes a seven-point action plan ranging from measures to control dust and mitigate hot spots, to a mobile application for complaints to a war room for monitoring.

World Habitat Day 2020

News: The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day (5th October 2020).


  • World Habitat Day: It was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 40/202 and was first celebrated in 1986.
  • Aim: To focus on the state of human settlements and people’s right to sufficient shelter and also to remind people that they are responsible for the habitat of future generations.
  • Theme: “Housing for All-A better Urban Future”.

Additional Facts:

  • Sustainable Development Goal 11: It aims to make cities more inclusive, safe,resilient and sustainable.
  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme(UN-Habitat): It was established in 1978 as a United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development.Headquarters: Nairobi,Kenya.

Nobel for black hole physics

News: The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded with one half to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez.


  • Roger Penrose has been awarded the prize because of his theoretical work which showed that black holes can form and exist as solutions of Einstein’s field equations.
  • Prof Genzel and Prof Ghez have been awarded for their study on the compact radio source Sagittarius A* near Milky Way’s centre. It is known to be a Supermassive Black hole.

Additional Information:

Black Hole:

  • A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape. These black holes consist a huge amount of matter packed densely into a small area, giving it an immense gravitational pull.
  • Black holes are thought to be formed when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle.
  • In 2019, the first ever image of a black hole was taken by the Event Horizon telescope (ETH). The ETH is a project comprised of eight different telescopes at different observatories around the world.