News: The World Health Organization(WHO) has released the Global tuberculosis report 2020.
- Global tuberculosis report: It has been published annually since 1997.
- Purpose: It provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and of progress in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease at global, regional and country levels.
- TB Cases: Globally, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with TB in 2019, a number that has been declining very slowly in recent years.
- Deaths due to TB: There were an estimated 1.2 million TB deaths among HIV-negative people in 2019 (a reduction from 1.7 million in 2000) and an additional 208,000 deaths among HIV-positive people (a reduction from 678,000 in 2000).
- Highest TB Cases: Eight countries accounted for two thirds of the global TB Cases: India (26%), Indonesia (8.5%), China (8.4%), Philippines (6.0%), Pakistan (5.7%), Nigeria (4.4%), Bangladesh (3.6%) and South Africa (3.6%).
- Drug-resistant TB: Drug-resistant Tuberculosis continues to be a public health threat.The three countries with the largest share of the global burden were India (27%), China (14%) and the Russian Federation (8%).
- Tuberculosis(TB): It is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- End TB Strategy: It was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2014.It serves as a blueprint for countries to reduce TB incidence by 80%, TB deaths by 90% and to eliminate catastrophic costs for TB-affected households by 2030.
News: The World Health Organization(WHO) has made available interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial.
- What is Solidarity Trial: It was initiated by WHO and its partners in order to help find an effective treatment for Covid-19.
- Drugs Covered: It covers four repurposed drugs or drug combinations — remde sivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon.
- Aim: To help determine whether any of these repurposed therapies could at least moderately affect in-hospital mortality and whether any effects differed between moderate and severe disease.
- What have the trials found? None of the drugs was able to prove benefits across the parameters studied especially in reducing mortality among hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
- RECOVERY trial: It is a large randomised controlled trial conducted in the U.K.It aims to test five drugs to identify treatments that may be beneficial for people hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
- FAITH trial: It is a randomised open study trial conducted by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd to test the combined efficacy of two antiviral drugs — Favipiravir and Umifenovir as a potential COVID-19 treatment strategy.
News: A session on “Sensors and Sensing for Precision Agriculture” was organised by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (ICAR-IARI).
- Precision Agriculture: It is an approach where inputs are utilised in precise amounts to get increased average yields compared to traditional cultivation techniques.
- How does it work? It uses information and technology tools to identify analyse and manage variability in fields by conducting crop production practices at the right place and time and in the right way for optimum profitability, sustainability and protection of the land resour
- Why Precision Agriculture?
- To increase agriculture productivity
- Prevents soil degradation
- Reduction of chemical application in crop production
- Efficient use of water resources
- Dissemination of modern farm practices to improve quality, quantity and reduced cost of production
- It changes the socio-economic status of farmers.
- Drawbacks of precision Agriculture:
- High cost
- Lack of technical expertise knowledge and technology
- Not applicable or difficult/costly for small land holdings
- Heterogeneity of cropping systems and market imperfections
News: Uttar Pradesh government has launched a 6-month long women empowerment programme ‘Mission Shakti’.
- Aim: To raise awareness and tackle crime against women in the state.
- Phases: The six month campaign has two phases:
- Mission Shakti: It will focus on spreading awareness towards ensuring the safety and dignity of women and girl-child.
- Operation Shakti: It will target eve-teasers and put them on the path of punishment or reform.If such elements do not mend their ways,they will have to face social-boycott and their pictures will be displayed publicly.
News: Union Road Transport & Highways Minister has said that Maharashtra’s ‘Buldhana Pattern’ of water conservation’ has won national recognition and the NITI Aayog is in the process of formulating National Policy on water conservation based on it.
- What is Buldhana Pattern? Under this project, the synchronisation of national highway construction and water conservation was achieved by using soil from the water bodies, nallas and rivers.
- This consequently led to the increase in capacity of water storage across the water-bodies in Buldana district and it came to be known as ‘Buldhana Pattern’.
- Tamswada Pattern: Under this, water conservation projects were taken up in Nagpur and Wardha district of Maharashtra in which rain water harvesting, conservation and groundwater recharge works were done in order to increase the water storage capacity of natural water bodies.
- Judgement: The Supreme Court has ruled that any stay on criminal and civil proceedings will not continue beyond six months and the trial court can proceed in the case without waiting for approval from higher courts if the stay is not extended.
- Significance: This ruling has reiterated the 2013 judgment in the Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency Pvt. Ltd case and the 2018 SC’s verdict.
News: India has successfully tested a naval version of the BrahMos missile from the indigenously-built stealth destroyer, INS Chennai.
- Brahmos Missile: It is a Supersonic Cruise missile that has been jointly developed by India and Russia.The missile has been named after the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
- Significance: The missile is capable of being launched from the submarines, ships, aircraft or from land platforms.
- Cruise missile: It is an unmanned self-propelled (till the time of impact) guided vehicle that sustains flight through aerodynamic lift for most of its flight path.
- Supersonic Cruise Missiles: It travels at a speed of around 2-3 Mach i.e., it travels a kilometre approximately in a second.