News: China has announced the joining of Covid-19 vaccine alliance known as COVAX.
- COVAX alliance: It is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations(CEPI) and WHO.
- Aim: To accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.
- The alliance also forms a key part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
- Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator: It is a global collaboration with the aim to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
- GAVI: It is a global Vaccine Alliance created in 2000 by bringing together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
- CEPI: It is a global partnership between public, private, philanthropic and civil society organisations launched in Davos in 2017 to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.
News: Scientists from the Pune-based Maximum Containment Laboratory and Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR)-National Institute of Virology have noted the presence of antibodies against the Cat Que virus(CQV) in two human serum samples.
- Cat Que Virus: It comes under the category of Arthropod-borne viruses and has been reported in countries such as China and Vietnam.
- Host: It is found in pigs and Culex mosquitoes.Birds such as the Jungle Myna may also act as a host.
- Spread: The virus can be transmitted to a person when that person is bit by a mosquito.
- Symptoms: Probable symptoms among human beings can be paediatric encephalitis, meningitis and acute fever.
News: The Supreme Court has ruled that the indefinite “occupation” of a public road by the Shaheen Bagh protestors was unacceptable.
- Background: The ruling came after a petition was filed in the SC highlighting problems caused by the protests which led to the roadblock and traffic problems.
- What has the court ruled?
- The court upheld the right to peaceful protest against a law but made it clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied and that too indefinitely.
- The right to protest in a public place should be balanced with the right of the general public to move freely without hindrance.
- Fundamental rights do not live in isolation.The right of the protester has to be balanced with the right of the commuter and has to co-exist in mutual respect.
- What does the Constitution say?
- The Constitution guarantees the right to protest and express dissent, but with an obligation towards certain duties.
- Article 19 confers upon citizens the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) and right to assemble peacefully without arms under Article 19(1)(b).
- However, these rights are also subject to reasonable restrictions mentioned under Article 19(2), imposed in the interest of sovereignty, integrity and public order with the help of police regulations.
News: Greenpeace India and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) has released its annual report titled “Ranking the World’s Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Hotspots: 2019-2020”.
- Top SO2 Emitters: India has continued to occupy the top spot in the world in sulphur dioxide(SO2) emissions for the fifth consecutive year in 2019.It was followed by Russia and China.
- India’s SO2 Emissions: In 2019, India emitted 21% of global anthropogenic (human-made) SO2 emissions.
- However, India’s SO2 emissions have recorded a decline of approximately 6% in 2019 as compared to 2018.
- SO2 Emission in Cities: Among large cities, Chennai is one of the biggest emission hotspots in the country.
- Emission Hotspots: The biggest emission hotspots in India are thermal power stations (or clusters of power stations).
- The major SO2 emission hotspots in India are Singrauli in MP, Neyveli and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Talcher and Jharsuguda in Odisha, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Kutch in Gujarat, Ramagundam in Telangana and Chandrapur and Koradi in Maharashtra.
- Recommendations: Mostof the power plants in India lack flue-gas desulfurization(FGD) units.Hence, FGD units should be installed to reduce SO2 emissions.
- Sulfur dioxide: It is a chemical compound with the formula SO2.It is released naturally by volcanic activity and is produced as a by-product of copper extraction and the burning of fossil fuels contaminated with sulfur compounds.
- It is a poisonous air pollutant that increases the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and other health issues that can lead to premature death.
News: India and the Kingdom of Denmark have launched the Green Strategic Partnership for delivering sustainable solutions to India.
- Green Strategic Partnership: The Partnership will focus on expanding economic ties, green growth and cooperation on global challenges such as climate change.
- Green growth is a term to describe a path of economic growth that uses natural resources in a sustainable manner.
- Denmark: It is a Nordic country in Northern Europe.It lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway and is bordered to the south by Germany.
News: Tamil Nadu’s Guidance, nodal investment promotion and facilitation agency has partnered with the World Economic Forum(WEF) to establish India’s first advanced manufacturing hub(AMHUB) in the state.
- Advanced manufacturing hub(AMHUB): It is one among the nineteen platforms that has been designed by the World Economic Forum(WEF).
- Focus of AMHUB: This manufacturing hub focuses on
- Addressing Regional Opportunities.
- Engaging regional production and
- To Address Challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
News: Mumbai Police Commissioner has said that police are looking into a scam about manipulation of TRPs (Television Rating Points) by rigging the devices used by the Broadcast Audience Research Council(BARC) India which has the mandate to measure television audience in India.
- What is TRP? It represents how many people from which socio economic categories watched which channels for how much time during a particular period.
- Methodology: For calculating TRP, BARC has installed “BAR-O-meters” in over 45,000 empanelled households.These households are classified into 12 categories under the New Consumer Classification System (NCCS).
- Significance of TRPs:
- Television ratings in turn influence programmes produced for the viewers. Better ratings would promote a programme while poor ratings will discourage a programme.
- TRPs are the main currency for advertisers to decide which channel to advertise on by calculating the cost-per-rating-point (CPRP).
- BARC: It is an industry body jointly owned by advertisers, ad agencies, and broadcasting companies, represented by The Indian Society of Advertisers, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Advertising Agencies Association of India.
News: Nobel Prize for Literature 2020 has been awarded to the US poet Louise Glück. She is the fourth woman to win the prize for literature since 2010, and only the 16th since the Nobel prizes were first awarded in 1901.
News: Ministry of Education virtually inaugurated the Gyan Circle Ventures.
- It is a MeitY funded Technology Business Incubator (TBI) of Indian Institute of Information Technology, Sri City (Chittoor), Andhra Pradesh.
- It will provide support for innovators and startups, in various phases via investments, infrastructure and support.
- It will also serve as a channel for commercializing the innovations of faculty and students.